by Julia Baker
IF AARON Wells happens to wake up on the wrong side of the bed he just needs to take a walk around St Joesph's.
The early morning sound of students flocking into school or a simple wave and a "hello Mr Wells” puts a smile on his face and he knows he's in for a good day.
While he was always called to teaching, becoming a school principal wasn't always on the cards, but it seems it was meant to be.
"It was never part of the plan at all and you miss being in the classroom in huge ways, so I am always looking for opportunities to mix with the kids,” he said.
"My wife and I met while we were at university and our first year out we both got a job at St George. We said 'whoever gets a job offer first, that's where we'll go'.
"My wife, Pam, had an application in first at St George and when she was going out there for the interview she rang them and said 'is it okay if my fiance comes out for the drive' and the principal said 'well, bring your resume as well' so I did. It was very fortunate that we both got a job.”
Three years later Mr Wells was promoted to acting principal before moving to Quilpie to take up the principals role at St Finbarr's Primary School.
A Toowoomba native, Mr Wells moved to Chinchilla six years ago.
"We've loved our time in Chinchilla so far and we've seen it change a lot in that time since we arrived. When we started it was the peak of the coal seam gas boom so we've seen it change and a lot of kids come in and out of the school.”
He said "working with people and the partnerships” he had formed since becoming St Joey's principal were what he loved most about his job.
"Everyone working together towards the common goal of doing what's best for the kids is what I love most. We're all in that same game - from parents to teachers and the kids themselves, that's definitely the best bit - it's the teamwork.”
Mr Wells, who has recently completed a Master of Educational Leadership, said it was his own school experiences which inspired him to become a teacher.
"I had a lot of great mentors and good role models during my own schooling. I saw the passion they had for it and I suppose that imprinted on me. It's always been something I've seen myself going into.”
It's just as well for Mr Wells because he is stumped when asked what he would have done if he hadn't become a teacher.
"I have no idea, I've never actually thought about it because this is always what I wanted to do but I've always said that if I ever lose that passion I won't do it any more, because if you don't have the passion it's the wrong game to be in.”