This week was Mr Miller’s last at the school and next year he will take up a new post as principal at Narrabeen Sports High in Sydney. Mr Miller has made the move so he can be closer to his eldest daughter, who is battling cancer.
“My daughter and our granddaughter need support and help from my wife and I, and that is the only reason we are moving to Sydney,” Mr Miller said.
“I have loved it here. It’s a great school and I feel that I have left my mark. The kids are great, they have so much spark and spirit and they are hungry for ideas and knowledge.”
A teacher for 35 years and a principal for six, Mr Miller said he and his fellow teachers had concentrated a lot of time and energy on building positive relationships between students and teachers.
He said the school had fostered a respectful relationship between staff and students.
“When I first arrived at the school, there was a suspension rate of 12 per cent,” Mr Miller said.
“Now the rate is less than 5 per cent and I am very proud of that.
“I’m also proud of the improvements to the physical facilities at the school, with a new sports centre and upgrading of the multi-purpose hall.
“The grounds are also great, they’re very green, and not a concrete jungle like many schools are.”
Mr Miller said the school had achieved outstanding results in the Higher School Certificate and last year it was the top performing school on the Far North Coast.
“I also feel very happy with the confidence that the community has in the school,” he said.
Mr Miller said he was looking forward to the challenges of his new job and thanked all teachers at Byron Bay High for their dedication.
“This is a job that I am not giving up easily. It’s been a joy to work here,” he said.
Relieving principal Ian Davies said Mr Miller had shown great leadership and had supported students and teachers alike.
“In the five years that Barry has been here, he has changed the culture of the school,” he said.
“He works from his heart and he has built long-lasting relationships between students and teachers that has shifted the culture.
“He is an inspirational leader and he cares for his environment.”
Mr Davies said Mr Miller would be sorely missed, but he had set the school up well for the future. A new principal is expected to start work in term two.
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