Former principal of South Grafton High School Barry Bartley passed away age 70.
Former principal of South Grafton High School Barry Bartley passed away age 70.

Tributes for principal who inspired others to learn, teach

TRIBUTES have poured in following the passing of a former principal of South Grafton High School who not only inspired his students in their own education, but to educate others.

Barry Bartley was principal of South Grafton High School from 1997-2007 in a 37-year teaching career, and passed away Sunday aged 70.

Mr Bartley was born in Sydney in 1950 and attended St Patricks Primary School and Marist Brothers Parramatta.

Following High School, Mr Bartley completed a diploma in Physical Education and his teaching career began in 1971 as Sportsmaster at Marsden High School. He then went on to teach at Granville South High School, Grantham High School, Evans High and Plumpton High School in Western Sydney. He then took up the principal's position at South Grafton in 1997.

At Grantham high school Barry set up a program for students with special needs, and the program received a Ministerial Youth Community Award in 1982.

At Evans High School Mr Bartley supported many students in the NSW Rock Eisteddfods and Schools Spectacular Productions. At Plumpton High School he was Head Teacher of Performing Arts where he was involved in many tumbling, circus skills and dance productions.

While at Plumpton, Mr Bartley was made Deputy Principal, and was involved in setting up of the Young Mothers program with Principal Glenn Sargeant.

As Principal of South Grafton High School for 10 years, Mr Bartley fostered strong links with the local indigenous Community, and was considered an inspiration by many in the school community.

Mr Bartley had a lifelong involvement in school sport which included roles as convener for Combined High Schools Rugby League, secretary of the Australian Schoolboys Rugby League, Combined High Schools Trampolining Convener and Combined High Schools Diving Convener.

In 1995, Mr Bartley was elected vice president of the Combined High Schools Sports Association. His devotion to school sport was celebrated when he was appointed as a life member of NSW Combined High Schools Sport.

On his retirement from South Grafton High School in 2007, he was highly respected for his leadership at the school, and was described by then Clarence Valley School Education director Ron Phillips as an outstanding leader who made a significant contribution to the school, the broader Grafton community and to public education in general.

"Barry is a compassionate person who constantly engaged with his students. It has been an absolute privilege to work with a teacher of the calibre of Barry Bartley," he said.

Retiring at age 57, Mr Bartley said at the time he would repeat his teaching career again, and paid tribute to his staff at the school.

"I have had many special moments in my teaching career, a career that I have loved with a passion from the day I started to last Thursday to when I walked away from the school for the last time and locked the door on my career," he said at the time.

In retirement, Mr Bartley enjoyed travelling, playing golf and fishing. He also remained active in NSW school sport and was a volunteer coach of the juniors at the Yamba Golf Club.

Mr Bartley's family told The Daily Examiner they had received numerous messages and tributes from ex-students saying that Mr Bartley had 'inspired them to become teachers', and received other tributes that 'he had the ability to bring out the best in people', 'that his energy was infectious' and 'he had an incredible attitude to life'.

He is survived by his wife Lyn, children Rebecca and Christian, son in-law Dave, Daughter in-law Kate and five Grandsons Beau, Jye, Josh, Kyle and Joel.

The funeral will be held at the Yamba Golf Club on Monday November 16. Due to social distancing requirements, numbers are restricted and people are to contact Riverview Funerals for service details including online viewing options.



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