But now the time has come for much-loved Julian Brown, of Horndean Technology College (HTC), to retire.
The 60-year-old PE teacher’s contributions to the school ‘will go down in history’, according to headteacher Julie Summerfield.
And during their heartfelt speeches, his colleagues made sure he knew just that.
During his This is Your Life-style presentation, Julian was handed a book that told of his journey from being a young Bristol lad who loved sport, to the highly-valued role model he is today.
Mr Brown, who was head of personal social health and economic education and careers, said: ‘When I was a younger PE teacher I swore I wouldn’t be an older one, because I thought kids wouldn’t respect me, but it’s quite the contrary.
‘Pupils don’t see me as being old and they don’t want me to retire, but physically, the time is right for me to go.
‘Teaching has never been about the money for me. To see kids do well, and so many have – that’s what it’s about.’
Colleagues of Mr Brown said the teacher has made the school’s careers advice what it is today, leading to HTC winning the Investor in Careers award in 2015.
Headteacher, Julie Summerfield, said: ‘Mr Brown will have taught many, many people in Horndean.
‘He’s truly a legend and all of his contributions have been highly valued, and will go down in history.
‘We will miss Julian’s presence, humour, stories and his commitment and dedication.
‘I thank him for all he’s given to students and staff.’
But according to Julian, he wouldn’t be where he is today without his family, the pupils he’s taught, and his ‘amazing’ colleagues.
Mr Brown added: ‘Years ago when Liverpool FC were dominating football, I said: “why would you want to leave the best football team in the premiership?”.
People move for professional enhancement, and I never did that because I was already at the best place I could be.
‘I’m extremely lucky I got to spend 35 years of my life at HTC.’