29 November, 2021
Oakey State High School farewells Leigh Hilsdon
After 38 years in the school community, Oakey State High School students, teachers, parents and friends farewelled Leigh Hilsdon with an emotional tribute to her dedication and commitment which coincided with the Year 12 graduation ceremony.
During the graduation ceremony, deputy principal Brett Bizzell - on behalf of principal Danny Keenan - highlighted the impact Ms Hilsdon had on the Oakey community for almost 40 years.
He said first as a teacher and now the head of department for technology, childhood learning and CCP, Ms Hilsdon has positively impacted generations of local students.
Mr Bizzell said the “beloved teacher” exhibits all the values that the staff hope to instill in the local students.
He said her dedication to the school is unsurpassed and this is evident by the level of respect the community has for Ms Hilsdon.
The retiring teacher was given the opportunity to reflect on her time at the high school at the Awards Night held on Wednesday.
Ms Hilsdon said she was transferred to Oakey in 1983 and immediately felt the size of the school and the bond shared by the community.
“I was immediately welcomed into the school community and dress-up Australia Day and its festivities started that sense of belonging that I have felt all my career,” she said.
Ms Hilsdon said the school has changed over her almost four decades with more resources, land, staff and buildings.
She praised the P&C for fundraising for these new facilities and opportunities for the students.
She said her fondest memories of the last 38 years include camps at Perseverance Dam and directing several Oakey State High School musicals in from the late 1980s into the 1990s.
“I have been blessed to teach many beautiful students and have had the opportunity to meet some very special parents as well,” Ms Hilsdon said.
“I know when I work down those Home Ec steps for the last time...that the students are in great hands because we have a dedicated, caring and professional staff guided by a highly performing admin team who want the absolute best the students.
“I can’t think of a better time to leave.”