IT will be the end of an era at Omagh Academy next week when popular teacher, Robert Wilson, retires after 40 years in the classroom.
Mr Wilson has been a permanent fixture at the Academy for the past four decades where he has taught thousands of pupils science, physics and computing during his long career.
Admitting he has “mixed feelings” about the retirement, Mr Wilson says the school has been an “incredible place to work” and the staff have been like family to him.
“In some ways I am looking forward to the next stage, but I have enjoyed teaching and I’m going to miss what I have been doing for the past 40 years,” he remarked.
“The staff have been like family to me and I’ve built some great relationships.
“I have also taught a lot of students and the thing about the Academy is that the students are all great.
That made the job so enjoyable and is why I have stayed here for 40 years.”
Mr Wilson has seen many changes to the school and the educational system since the start of his career.
He explained, “Obviously the school building itself has changed as we got an extension in 1990.
But the biggest change has been the use of computers.
“When I started, I think there was just one computer in the entire school but now you have at least one in every classroom and some classrooms are full of computers.”
The introduction of technology was of huge interest to Mr Wilson, and he returned to college to study computing which he since taught at the school.
“Once computers started to come into the school, I started to get very interested as I had never seen a computer before!”
Mr Wilson will retire from his post next Friday and he has no immediate plans for the ‘next stage’.
“I can feel myself getting a bit emotional as the time is approaching, but I am just going to take
retirement as it comes,” he concluded.