Most teenagers can’t wait to leave school and enter the big wide world. More often than not, it’s only after finishing school that we realise how great it was. That’s certainly the case at Bundaberg Christian College, where countless alumni have been so inspired by their teachers that they’ve pursued careers in education and returned to the school as adults.
Design Technology Teacher Liam Cherry (pictured) graduated from Bundaberg Christian College (BCC) in 2015. “It was kind of weird walking into the staff room for the first time and trying to call my old teachers by their first names,” he said. “My physical education and metalwork teachers inspired me to be a teacher. I just want to do the same for others.”
Bundaberg Christian College was established more than 26-years-ago and started with just two teachers and 39 students. Growing from strength to strength, the school now has some 730 students, 150 staff and an early learning centre. Principal Paul Thompson said the school’s positive culture had created a tight-knit multi-generational school community.
“Alumni are enrolling their own children in the College,” he said. “The strength of a school is producing students who want to be teachers, and creating a community that people want to be part of.”
Hospitality teacher Caitlin Howkins (pictured), who graduated in 2015, said she had many fond memories of her time as a Christian College student. “It was a place that I felt comfortable to be myself and push myself to achieve my best,” she said. “I knew that the teachers genuinely cared for me … talking about life with my teachers, sharing my hopes, dreams, fears and worries. They were always there to walk alongside me – whether that be with a stressful exam, difficult assignment, friendship troubles or to share in my achievements.”
Caitlin graduated from university in 2020. “I wanted to be part of the BCC culture again,” she said. “I love the small, family-like community of our school. Being able to smile and walk past each student and know them by name is something I didn’t experience teaching at other high schools. BCC is a place where God is honoured in every aspect, and I can combine faith and the curriculum. I love being able to share my faith and walk with students through their faith journey.”
30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.