After 26 years, Sharon Kotzur will farewell St John's Lutheran School in Jindera in April 2018

FOND FAREWELL: After 26 years at St John's, Sharon Kotzur will bid farewell to the school at the end of term one next year. Picture: SIMON BAYLISS
FOND FAREWELL: After 26 years at St John's, Sharon Kotzur will bid farewell to the school at the end of term one next year. Picture: SIMON BAYLISS

ST JOHN’S Lutheran Primary School principal Sharon Kotzur is stepping down after 19 years in the top job, and 26 at the school in total.

After returning from extended leave earlier in the year, Mrs Kotzur said she had come to realise it was time to move on.

Mrs Kotzur began as a teacher at the school in 1992, before a stint as deputy principal.

“At this stage I don’t have any real plans about what I’ll do next,” she said.

“From a Christian point of view, I thought it was the right time to leave and look at those new challenges.” 

Less than 100 students attended the Jindera school when Mrs Kotzur first started as a teacher, but it has since grown to more than 300.

The rapid growth is something Mrs Kotzur says she can hang her hat on.

“Since I’ve been principal we’ve gone from single-stream to double-stream, we’ve added six or eight new classrooms, a hall and a library,” she said.

“It’s been huge growth for every year level, as well as the addition of the Little Saints program.

“We’ve seen some big milestones for the school during my time, but the overall growth is what stands out most to me.

“I think what we offer as a smaller school is something really special.” 

Having spent such a significant amount of time at the growing Jindera school, Mrs Kotzur said she was ready to seek out her next challenge..

“I always knew I’d like to be a teacher, it was one of my childhood dreams,” she said.

“I’d always wanted to teach, but I had never thought I’d be in Jindera.

“Family drew me back though, and it seemed like the right place to be.

“I hadn’t intended to stay so long, but God had other plans for me I suppose.

“I’ve liked seeing growth in people as a teacher.” 

After announcing her departure last Friday, the school is not expected to name a replacement until next year.

Mrs Kotzur will not officially step down from the job until April 13th next year, the end of term one.

As she prepares for the final few weeks of school, Mrs Kotzur said she had put a lot of thought into some parting words of advice.

For her fellow teachers, she said they should always trust in themselves.

“The message for staff, I believe, is that they are not there at the school by accident,” she said.

“Don’t be afraid to act on that calling.” 

And for the countless students to have enjoyed her guidance, both past and present?

“Celebrate your uniqueness,” she said.

“Do what you love to do and do it well.

“Use your gifts and talents to make a difference, and enjoy the adventure that ensues.”