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June 16, 2024 10:48 PM

Tears flow as beautiful Julie says goodbye

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BY JEM ANSHAW

It is an end of an era for Muswellbrook Preschool with Julie Collins departure.  This much loved early childhood educator is this edition’s Beautiful Person and what a deserving recipient.

After 30 years of playing a vital role in the transition to big school for local children, Mrs Collins will be leaving the area for her next adventure.

“It’s been wonderful to be a part of so many children’s lives and I find it really special that some of the children I taught in my early years, I have their children now,” she said holding back tears.

“Even some of the people working here – Sophie who was here last year was one of my little girls and then she worked with me.”

When Mrs Collins initially applied for the position she was only thinking it would be a short term role while she worked out where to next, but the preschool she attended as a four-year-old proved to be a perfect fit.

“It has been the most wonderful and rewarding place I have ever worked,” she said.

Her departure will be leaving a massive hole in the centre and director Kelly Constable admits they are not sure how they will fill.

“Julie is just such a part of the furniture, a dedicated, loyal, loved employee that we are going to miss dearly,” she said.

“She has taught here for 30 years, hundreds and hundreds of children have had the pleasure of having her as their teacher.

“She gives 100 per cent every day to her teaching career, such a beautiful asset to Muswellbrook Preschool that the families and the children just admire.”

Jay Churcher has been teaching alongside Mrs Collins for 24 years and describes her as a great friend and colleague.

“She has always been there for the kids, always been there for her fellow staff,” she said.

“Any idea the kids have if we can do it she runs with it, she is all about the kids.”

While there are a number of preschool traditions to farewell a staff member that will be able to happen, the staff are upset they will not be able to host a community event to give everyone the chance to say goodbye.

Mrs Collins was nominated for The Hunter River Times Beautiful People Award by Tracey Marsden, president of the Muswellbrook Preschool committee.

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