Pauline Buick Obituary - A Very Special Teacher
Found in: SCEA News | Published on: 26 November 2019
This month saw the passing of Pauline Buick, a teacher who gave 16 years of excellent service to SCEA as a teacher at Mundaring (1995-2001) and then as a Primary Co-ordinator at Ellenbrook (2002-2010).
Former Ellenbrook Principal Greg Wells shared some precious memories of Pauline’s time there:
“When I arrived at Mundaring Christian College, Pauline was one of four teachers already there. She was the most experienced of the group and took upon herself the responsibility to do things well and right. Her professionalism and her years of experience were invaluable. She liked order and systems and quickly let me know when I was making decisions on the run - as I was prone to do! I enjoyed the way she would make an appointment to see me because there was something on her mind that she wanted to talk about but not embarrass me by asking the question in front of others. She was always the diplomat and always supportive of me and my role. She continued that style of support when we again came together when I was appointed to Ellenbrook Christian College.”
It was at Ellenbrook that Pauline met Shelly Forbes (now a Board Member at SCEA) and a very dear friendship was struck up between the two female leaders.
“Pauline was the epitome of a servant leader: she had a willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty, she advocated strongly for the best interests of students, and she was a brilliant mentor and coach of personalities.”
Pauline was one of the first leaders at Ellenbrook Christian College and helped to shape the culture of Ellenbrook with a “put others first” mentality. Shelley remembers this well:
“Pauline would take her time to support any staff member firstly in the culture of the school. I recall many a time sitting around her kitchen table (after school and on the weekend) being supported in the development of 'how to do it the ECC way' -always from a loving and gentle heart.”
Greg Wells also remembers the generous nature of Pauline in those early years of Ellenbrook:
"In our emerging school she toiled, giving everything to the task. She maintained a wicked sense of humour which was appreciated, because sometimes things were tough. Staff meetings were also interesting events. I would be presenting some new changes I thought would be good for the school and I would be watching Pauline’s face to see if she was “buying in”. Often it looked like she was going along with it until the next day when she made an “appointment” to see me . She would very respectfully, tell me what was troubling her about my new directions. She would say she liked most of the idea but would highlight areas that she thought might cause me some grief... with staff or parents. Often she was right and adjustments were made. If I disagreed with her and was not going to change anything as she suggested, she would support my position and give her incredible energy to the initiative. Pauline exemplified the Biblical understanding of respect for those in authority and going to a person one on one to highlight issues of concern. A great teacher, with a Godly character, wonderful colleague and staff member who always encouraged me and looked out for my welfare and the welfare of the students, staff and parents. Pauline made an amazing contribution to the two schools she worked in. Her pioneering spirit and creativity to do things with little or no resourcing was a credit to her.”
Comments of Pauline’s teaching at the time were of the highest praise:
Pauline’s teaching skills are exemplary.
Parents from all of Pauline’s classes hold her in the highest esteem. The kids love her and her classes display a positive relationship throughout all the community.
Pauline is a highly respected member of our school. She has been a positive influence in all areas.
Perhaps the most enduring memory of Pauline at Ellenbrook was her pastoral heart. Shelley Forbes became the Curriculum coordinator for Ellenbrook and worked in a leadership team with Daphne Vose and Pauline in the early years of the EEC cultural formation:
“Pauline developed and led the worship in the Primary school. It was so strong for so long. A weekly event that was cherished by staff and students. This was a strength of the College. Pauline would see a need and with a strong pastoral hand work to bring the right people together to support whomever was in need.”
It seems clear that while every school needs a Pauline Buick on their staff, there will only ever be one Pauline Buick. Her inimitable qualities should be taught to every trainee teacher. Her kind spirit and willingness to serve in every situation cannot be acquired without sacrifice and her legacy as a teacher, leader and friend is forever etched into the history of Mundaring Christian College, Ellenbrook Christian College and the hearts of SCEA staff and students forever.