Boaz Owino was employed as a teacher in 1988, a journey that has taken three and half decades to finish.
He held the position of Chief Principal, the most prestigious position in the lower education teaching profession. Recently, the long journey came to an end, thirty-four years later, on his retirement.
In 2011, Mr. Owino was awarded a Head of State Commendation (HSC) title after his former school, Maranda Boys, was ranked number one in that year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations.
It was in the same year that he was named chief principal.
He would be later transferred to Nyambaria Boys’ School in 2017 after a long service in Maranda. Owino says he was reluctant to join the school at first but had no option.
During his retirement ceremony held in the school playground on 13th September 2022, he revealed that on the day he came to his new station for a pre-visit, he never entered the school compound as it looked like a smaller school than his former.
Mr. Owino says that on the day he was reporting to Nyambaria Boys’, one ugly picture that disappointed him was that students were eating from open ground and being rained on.
“When I reported to this school, it was during lunch hour and what I saw for the first time was not pleasing at all; students were eating from the open ground.
At times, the boys could spend time scaring away crows. The place was also very stinky, which gave me a picture of what was lying ahead of me as the new head,” Owino said while addressing education stakeholders and students at the ceremony.
The holder of a Master’s Arts Degree in Literature from Kenyatta University then constructed a dining hall with a sitting capacity of 1,500 students at a go.
The project has since changed the lives of the boys in the school. It has given them comfort while taking meals, even during rainy seasons, and improved their self-esteem.
Among other infrastructural developments he oversaw within the four years he served in the school is the construction of three new modern classrooms.
These have helped decongest the existing ones, creating room for the optional subjects.
Also done are the parade ground, dining arena, and the pathway from the main gate with paving blocks, giving the school a new face befitting a national school, with a modern main gate designed by the art and design students.
The pathway was muddy then and the boys would spend more time in personal cleaning and general compound cleaning. The school now looks neat and organized.
To enhance the security of the learners in the compound, the outgoing Chief Principal installed Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in all classrooms and key areas in the school, which has enhanced classroom management and beefed up security in the school.
Before his retirement, Mr. Owino had started the construction of a Kshs. 100 million multi-purpose hall.
His vision was to address the growing enrollment numbers permanently.
YOU CAN ALSO READ: Why schools should build their brands with brilliance
In the farewell ceremony, Mr. Owino outlined the plans he had for the school, revealing that many had been achieved, giving the school an outlook of the National school it is.
He said he was proud to retire having done his best in the 34 years he served in the teaching profession and could be available for any duties he could be assigned by the community or state.
“I retire a proud educationist, having done what I was able to do for the 34 years I have been a teacher.
I have risen through the ranks to the Chief Principal, being named Principal of the year in 2011 and being recognized by the president, the late Mwai Kibaki, and awarding me a Head of State’s Commendation (H.S.C) title.
I now go home comfortable and contented with my achievements so far,” said Owino.
Over the years Mr. Owino has headed the school, the population of the students has grown from 1,798 in January 2018 when he took over to the current 2,368 as of 2022.
The school’s Board of Management (BOM) chair, Dr. Lazarus Momanyi, acknowledged that the school has greatly improved since Mr. Owino took over four years ago.
He urged all the stakeholders to support the new Chief Principal, Charles Onyari, to take the school another step forward to greater heights.
Dr. Momanyi poured praises on the retiring Principal, describing him as a gentle, hardworking and result-oriented man worth emulating.
“For the last four years, we worked very closely with the retiring Chief Principal Owino, who gave us a blueprint of his vision for the school which I can say was implemented to greater heights.
We found him a treasure for the expected success of this school and always achieved our targets easily for he was a team leader and player,” said Dr. Momanyi.
“We are going to work as a formidable team with the new administration, always consulting and closely working together to realize the objectives of the school,” added Dr. Momanyi.
Dr. Momanyi also noted that Nyambaria is not what it was four years ago.
He exhorted all stakeholders to continue supporting the new administration of the new Chief Principal, Mr. Charles Onyari, in his endeavors to reach the promised Canaan of academic realization.
The learners have been able to unleash their full potential under the steady stewardship of Mr. Owino.
Mr. Owino is finalizing his doctorate (Ph.D.) at Kenyatta university and urges students to aim higher and study courses that don’t ‘expire’ in retirement.
“As I retire now, mine to you is that you always aim for the bigger things; always consider courses that will earn you the longest service you could wish so that you are resourceful the rest of your life,” said Owino.
The current Chief Principal, Mr. Charles Onyari, appreciated the efforts put in by his predecessor, retired principal Owino, to make the school the best place for the learners.
“I sincerely thank Mr. Owino for his wonderful job for this school. Once I join the team, we will proceed and continue serving Nyambaria to ensure that the tradition that Owino had imparted here continues, for Nyambaria to keep shining in the country,” said Mr. Onyari.
Concerning the challenges facing the school, he was clear that he would consult the Board of Management and chart a way forward.
“To all the stakeholders, I promise that I will work with you so that we may finally make Nyambaria continue shining as Owino has done a lot for this institution,” he promised.