Werribee Secondary College principal Steve Butyn says he started his career as a “very keen and enthusiastic first-year teacher”.

After working as an educator for five decades, Mr Butyn says he remains just as passionate about his chosen field.

He was presented with a Recognition of Service to Victorian Education award, in tribute to his 50 years in the industry, earlier this month. Mr Butyn, who celebrated his 70th birthday last week, said he decided that he wanted to be a teacher at an early age.

“When I was in grade 5, I helped my best mate to spell and I got a great thrill out of that achievement,” he said. “That event etched my ultimate career.”

Mr Butyn’s first teaching job was at Paisley High School in Newport, which is now part of Bayside P-12 College.

He was appointed to Werribee High School (which later became Werribee Secondary College) in 1987 as a leading teacher, becoming an assistant principal in 1991 and principal two years later.

“I feel most privileged to be principal of Werribee Secondary College,” Mr Butyn said.

“We are an internationally-focused college, with 1500 students representing 54 nationalities and 64 languages.”

During his time at the college, it has been accredited as an international school by the Council of International Schools, which is based in the Netherlands.

The college was the first government school in Victoria to be authorised to deliver the diploma-level International Baccalaureate, a senior certificate recognised all around the world.

“We are very proud of our achievements,” Mr Butyn said.