Retiring after 47 years of teaching Technology at Portora Royal School and Enniskillen Royal Grammar School, Trevor Smith says he’ll miss being part of a “vibrant, energetic community.”

Mr. Smith began his teaching career at Portora Royal School in September 1972.

“It wasn’t my first job but it was my first teaching post,” said Mr. Smith.

“I worked as an engineer for a while but I always had an attraction to teaching. I think I was influenced by some people who had taught me,” he explained.

Paying tribute to his wife Jean who has been a “wonderful support” throughout his teaching career, Mr. Smith, who is originally from Derry-Londonderry, noted that as a couple they had hoped to live in Enniskillen before he was offered a teaching job in the town.

“I’d already met my future wife and she was from Enniskillen so we saw our future as being in Enniskillen and so it was very fortuitous that the job came up in Portora,” said Mr. Smith.

He continued: “It was the first teaching job I had applied for and I was interviewed by the Reverend Val Rogers who was the headmaster at the time. The interview consisted of having lunch with him so it was a great break when I was appointed.”

When asked what he’ll miss most about teaching, Mr. Smith said: “I’ll miss the pupils. I’ve had wonderful pupils all through my career, fine young people that it has been a privilege to know.”

He continued: “I’ll miss my colleagues. I have been blessed by always being surrounded by helpful, kind, friendly colleagues.”

“I’ll also miss learning on a daily basis in both giving and receiving, and being a part of a vibrant, energetic community,” he added.

Sharing highlights from his teaching career, Mr. Smith said: “Portora was awarded special school status for the arts in 2008 and that brought a lot of extra funding to the school so that was a highlight.”

He continued: “In 2008 I was given a teaching award from the Institute of Electrical Engineers and I attended a ceremony in Birmingham for that, but my biggest highlight has been every time I have seen a pupil reach their potential.”