Reunion of great minds

St Albans North Primary School principal Rob Parker with former principal Ruth Tozer and student Joalie, aged 7

A major coincidence has sparked a reunion of old friends and academic minds.

St Albans North Primary School principal Robert Parker said the series of events which led to the reunion of former staff members left him speechless.

“I had a group of [grade] 1/2 children in my office having a talk and one of the girls asked who the principals had been here.

“So I took them out into the foyer and showed them the names on the honour board and they picked up that there has only been one female principal – Ruth Tozer.

“We spoke about her role at the school during her time here from 1974 to 1978 and about two hours later Ruth rang up out of the blue and wanted to show a former colleague visiting from America the school.”

Mr Parker promptly agreed and from there things began to snowball.

“Ruth and her former colleague Claudia contacted a few other colleagues and it morphed into a morning tea, tour and a bit of a reunion,” he said.

Although more than four decades have gone by, Ms Tozer said much of the school is how she remembered it.

“It’s quite nostalgic to be back here and seeing it all,” she said. “There’s been quite a few changes, but the basic thing is the same – the corridor, the classrooms, the staff rooms. It certainly brings the memories flooding back.”

Ms Tozer was a trail blazer for women in the education department and said she hoped to see more females on the board.

“I’m surprised there aren’t any other female principals on the honour board.

“In the ’70s it was quite rare to have a female as principal, I was probably one of the first group, but now it’s just part of the process of advancing a career within the education department.”

Ms Tozer said the most rewarding part of her career was the memories forged.

“We’ve had an interesting time recalling some of the fun things that used to happen in the past.

“You always remember the good things.”