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Tweed principals out after dark

Chloe Brady, Matthew Jacobson and Megan Baker, from Fingal Head Public School, and Murray Walters enjoying a meal and a drink at Tumbulgum Tavern.
Chloe Brady, Matthew Jacobson and Megan Baker, from Fingal Head Public School, and Murray Walters enjoying a meal and a drink at Tumbulgum Tavern. Colin Gilmore

PROOF Tweed's schools don't just interact at sports and other extra-curricular events can be found after dark.

Such as a gathering last night of what Fingal Head Public School principal Matthew Jacobson said were mostly small local schools' principals and staff.

"I would say this is typical of non-metropolitan teachers," he said, after a sip of XXXX Gold at the Tumbulgum Tavern.

A celebration erupted in the form of a birthday cake, as the sun set over the Tweed and Rous Rivers' meeting place.

It was for the principal of Duranbah Public School Sandy Ellis, as her Australia Day birthday was flooded out with so many other public and private events.

"It's definitely a trend among small schools," Mr Jacobson said.

He stopped speaking to My Daily News in order to tuck in to a Tumbulgum steak.

As one of his teachers, Megan Baker, spoke school with colleague Chloe Brady, Ms Baker's fiance Murray Walters teased expatriate Mr Jacobson about the way he cooked his steak.

After good-naturedly telling him what for, the principal said a big part of a small school's management was ensuring teachers "know how important they are".

"I'd say this happens because, and I'll try to think of something clever here, large schools can spread this over extra-curricular activities.

"In small schools you've got teachers teaching across multiple disciplines, such as sport or arts.

"There's a lot of expectation on their shoulders.

"And generally because small schools' position geographically, there's a lot more interaction with families."

Indeed parents and teachers' families are invited to the gatherings Mr Jacobson said occurred at least every 10 weeks, or more often.

"A lot of this happens in schools out west.

"The first school I was principal of had only seven kids.

"Megan was the same: she taught for two years in Booligal (south-west NSW)."

He said there were many principals and staff from local schools there, and pointed out "good mate" and Uki Public School principal Jeff Robinson.

Unfortunately it was difficult for My Daily News to interrupt the academics from their meals, and both Ms Ellis and Mr Robinson were unreachable today.

Rest assured next time Mr Jacobson or another Tweed teacher or principal puts out the call for a meal and a cold one, they and many others will answer.

Such is the strength of a little-known community within our greater society.

Please email colin.gilmore@mydailynews.com.au to share your thoughts.

Topics:  education principals tumbulgum tweed



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