Recollections of Caloundra Christian College – Hector Costello

My recollections as a staff member of CCC begins on the first day of school in 1993. On that day, teaching changed for me becoming a career or calling not just a job. It was a day still etched in my memory, in particular the last period of the day with a Year 10 History class. I came up to take the class and a particular student cheerily waved to me. From where I came from, this could have a double meaning to it, namely a student wanting to take the ‘mickey’ out of the new teacher. However to my delight I realised that this was a genuine expression of welcome to the new teacher. Once in the class and asking questions to ascertain the prior knowledge of the students, the student sitting right in front of me with his bleached surfie hair encouraged me to ask a particular student in the back corner, indicating to me that he was a particularly intelligent student and would know all the answers. Here was a student showing off to the new teacher the most capable student in the class. Once again, quite the opposite from the world that I had come from.

Fast forward to December 2006 when I had the sad experience of having to pack up my desk and say goodbye to CCC to take up a Deputy Principal’s position in Far North Queensland. I remember procrastinating the packing up of my desk well after the students have finished for the year as I did not want to confront that final symbolic moment of handing over my keys. When I finally drove out of the driveway on a particular day just before Christmas, to my surprise tears filled my eyes, such was the impact of CCC on my personal and professional life.

In between these two points in time, I had 14 years of being able to input into many young students lives. As Coordinator of the senior school, I had the joy of seeing students graduate and being able to celebrate their success as well as sometimes commiserating with their disappointments. I have fond memories of the Year 12 camps, firstly at Moreton Island and then at the challenging camp at Emu Gully near Toowoomba where personal fears and anxieties were often challenged to the max. 

In the same vein, I remember when I organised our first rugby league match (I think it was 1996) against a much bigger school. Many of the boys had never played before but wanted to give it a go. We were comprehensively beaten in a very physical encounter but I admired the heart of our students as they were not willing to walk away from such a challenge. We moved on from there to have a league team in a small school’s competition and then in my final years we switched into the local school’s union competition where the highlight was a draw against Caloundra High, a team that contained a number of junior Qld Reds players.

As well as my recollections of the students, I found the camaraderie of the staff at CCC a welcome change from the school environment that I had come from. Education that incorporates the Christion worldview provides educators with a shared purpose and hence a sense of unity, an experience that I found to be professionally invigorating. 

I pray that CCC will continue to be a lighthouse in the community and look forward to being part of the celebration of 40 years of Christian education.