DAVID Manttan has had an undeniably large influence on youth in the Gladstone region and throughout Queensland during his 45 years in education.
Past and present colleagues gathered with Mr Manttan and his family to celebrate his eminent achievements within the field, as he enters into a new role - retirement.
The first of his family to complete a university degree, he studied at the Kelvin Grove Teachers College.
He later completed a degree at James Cook University in the 1980s and a masters degree in the early 90s.
Mr Manttan was a teacher for four years for grade 3 and 5 students. He then began his role as a principal.
In 1982 Mr Manttan moved to Gladstone with his wife Marilyn.
His first role was as principal at Gladstone Central Primary School, was followed by Gladstone West, then Clinton.
In 1998 Mr Manttan took on another role - in the senior executive service department with Education Queensland.
He has a strong knowledge of the industry - experiencing all the rewarding aspects of the job.
"You can work with young people and see their success both in the classroom and later on in life and know you've had a little bit of influence on them along the way.
"A young lady who I had taught in my second year of teaching was there (at a function recently), she came and told me she was 50, I thought I can't be that old!
"Needless to say, it wasn't grade one so that was good," he laughed.
The interest in the education field has been inherited by three of his four sons.
Two are principals and one is an acting head of department.
Mr Manttan said the significant change in the industry he experienced was the use of technology.
"The major change that is still developing is the use of technology, teachers are still learning about how they can use it in their classrooms ... teachers who do use it can enhance the learning for their kids."
But some things will always stay the same.
"It's still all about the interaction between the teacher and the students and building good relationships," he said.
The celebration on Saturday night had 110 guests at the Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre.
Mr Manttan will continue his role as president of School Sport Australia until the end of 2015.
During his retirement he looked forward to spending more time with his grandchildren and travelling with his wife.