Mr David Dilger began his teaching career in 1954 at New Town High School and returned to it in 1976 as its Principal. He was an exceptionally gifted teacher and had aspired to the profession from boyhood. His strong intellect was reflected in his academic background and in his continuing study both of his specialization and new disciplines throughout his career. His strong regard for his students as individuals created relationships in which learning took place most effectively. Thus he was a credible and successful educational leader for whom the school developed a strong affection over the thirteen years of his administration.
Mr. Dilger had clear priorities and a strong sense of educational integrity. He could see the difference between change and progress. He valued consultation and corporate decision making, but reserved the right, readily conceded by those whom he led, to have his own view prevail if he considered that was best for his students and their school. Mr Dilger was a prodigious worker, arriving at school very early and remaining late each day. He consistently assumed class teaching responsibilities in addition to his functions as Principal. He took the view that every student had a talent, and his determination to maintain academic standards was accompanied by an insistence that the interests and self esteem of less able boys were appropriately nurtured. Concurrently he vigorously encouraged tolerance and an appreciation of individual differences, whether intellectual, physical or ethnic. He took the first steps to set up the Peer Support Programme by training staff and an initial group of students.
Mr. Dilger’s ready responses, incisive humour, sincerity and clarity of expression were appreciated by students, staff and parents. He was also a very good writer.
Physical developments at the school in Mr. Dilger’s time harmonized with his enlightened view of education. The bare quadrangle was provided with seats and ornamental features. Its barracks-like atmosphere was further mitigated by having the upstairs balconies glassed in- and their floors covered. Significantly, the library was entirely redesigned, expanded and refurbished.
David Dilger retired in 1988.