Past principals


​2003 – 2016

Mr C.W. Zilm

B.A., Dip. Ed.

Coming to the school in a temporary role in March of 2003, Mr Zilm’s first challenge surfaced shortly after commencing with the release of the review into the relationship and future of the school model, commissioned the year before.

Winning the role permanently from the start of Semester Two that year, Mr Zilm embarked on a leadership journey which saw the Mt Lofty Campus grow to over 1500 students by 2007 and then - as Wilsonton Campus added senior programs from 2011 -return to the 900 mark by 2014.

As Year 7 was introduced to secondary, community pressure increased to separate the two campuses and the consultation in 2016 led to this being put in place by Term 4. In August of 2016, after 14 years of serving as the fourteenth Principal of Toowoomba State High School, (the second longest tenure as Principal of our school), Mr Zilm took up duties as Executive Principal of Cairns State High.

He had previously worked in the FNQ city as Head of Middle School at Bentley Park College and as Deputy Principal at Malanda State High School in 1999 and 2000.

1997 – 2002

Mr M. Wright

M.Ed., B.App.Sci., Dip.Ed., Grad.Dip.Mgmt.

Mr Wright began a career with the Education Department as a Maths and Science teacher in 1976. After six years in the classroom he became a Youth Worker with the Scripture Union of Queensland before returning to the classroom again in 1989.

In July of 1992 Mr Wright moved to the School Support Centre and worked as a Community Engagement Advisor. Upon his return to schools, Mr Wright was promoted to Deputy Principal at Harristown; a position he served in for almost 3 years. Then in 1996, Mr Wright took up duties as the Assistant Executive Director – Human Resources and in July 1997 he became the thirteenth Principal of Toowoomba State High School.

Mr Wright guided our school for 5 years and six months before moving to the Toowoomba Regional Council as the Director of Corporate Services.

1991 – 1996

Dr R.G. Barrett

B.Com., M.Ed.St., Ph.D.

Dr Barrett commenced duties as Principal of Toowoomba State High School on Tuesday, 6 August, 1991. Born in Townsville, Dr Barrett completed his schooling in Mackay before studying at Kelvin Grove Teachers’ College and the University of Queensland.

Prior to taking up duties as the twelfth Principal of our school he held the positions of Deputy Principal at Miami and Wavell State High Schools and was a lecturer in Education at Kelvin Grove College of Advanced Education. Dr Barrett served as Principal at Toowong, Newmarket and Rochedale State High Schools and had also worked as Assistant Director (Senior Secondary) in the Central Office of the Department of Education.

1988 – 1991

Mr W. Gynther


Toowoomba State High School welcomed Mr Gynther as its eleventh Principal. Mr Gynther arrived with a vast array of experiences in teaching and administration including a number of years working in Canada. Prior to his arrival at Mt. Lofty, Mr Gynther had been a Deputy Principal at Aspley followed by a promotion to Principal of the Roma Senior College.

He quickly made a lasting impression on the entire school community and his time at this school is still fondly remembered by those who had the pleasure of working under his leadership. Following a controversial departmental restructure, Mr Gynther left Toowoomba State High School to take up a position at Regional Office as co-ordinator of the Darling Downs Central School Support Centre.

1979 – 1987

Mr R. Spearritt


Mr Spearritt taught for many years in the western region of Queensland before turning to a career in farming. Fortunately for many students and eventually for Toowoomba State High School, Mr Spearritt returned to teaching and fulfilled appointments at Chinchilla, Inala and at Kedron where he held the position of Deputy Principal.

Promotion saw Mr Spearritt working as Principal at Longreach and Lockyer District and then in 1979 he was transferred to Toowoomba State High. Under his guidance, the school excelled academically, culturally and on the sporting fields. Mr Spearritt retired in June 1987 but his influence and commitment to our school can still be felt by many staff currently serving at Toowoomba State High School.

1972 – 1978

Mr R. Grieve

M.A., Dip.Com.

Until his retirement in August 1978, Mr Grieve had served as the ninth Principal of Toowoomba State High School. Mr Grieve was transferred from Proserpine in the Whitsunday region to take up duties at the beginning of 1972. It is widely acknowledged and documented that Mr Grieve had left our school as pre-eminent as it had ever been in the local community and in the minds of those concerned with State education.

During his time as Principal, it is worth noting that Mr Grieve was responsible for guiding the school through the last year of external examinations and into the new assessment and tertiary entrance methods. Sadly, just a year after his retirement, Mr Grieve passed away after a short illness.

1963 – 1971

Mr P.D. Wilkes

B.A., A.Ed.

Mr Wilkes received promotion from his position of Deputy Principal at Caboolture in 1962 to become the eighth Principal of Toowoomba State High School. Mr Wilkes was well known to our school as he had previously taught Maths and served as Sportsmaster in the late 1930’s whilst the school operated from the ‘old’ site downtown.

He went on to serve his country as a Flying Officer in the R.A.A.F. during the Second World War before returning to teach at Toowoomba High, this time at the Mt. Lofty site. The school facilities, as they stand today, are in large part due to the tireless work under the administration of Mr Wilkes. At the end of 1971, Mr Wilkes was promoted to Regional Inspector.

1961 – 1962

Mr M.H. Grayson

B.A., B.Ed.

As the seventh Principal of Toowoomba State High School and Technical College, Mr Grayson was tasked with continuing the schools relocation to Mt. Lofty and the administration of the remaining classes at the old location on the corners of Margaret and Hume Street. Previously, Mr Grayson had been promoted to Deputy Principal at Gympie and later worked as assistant to the Director of Secondary Education.

Following his duties as Principal of Warwick State High School he was transferred to Toowoomba State High and Technical College. At the conclusion of the 1962 school year, Mr Grayson was transferred to Cavendish Road High and soon after was promoted to Inspector.

1959 – 1960

Mr J. Bartholomew


During the Second World War, Mr Bartholomew served in both the Army and the R.A.A.F. After completing a B.A. at the University of Queensland, he began his teaching career in 1946. Mr Bartholomew taught at Gladstone and Gympie and a few other schools in north Queensland. He served as Principal at Ingham and in Mt. Isa before becoming the sixth Principal at Toowoomba State High School in 1959.

The two years at Toowoomba High were extraordinarily busy as Mr Bartholomew was in charge as the school commenced the transition from the original site downtown to the new venue at Mt. Lofty. Mr Bartholomew was transferred to Bundaberg to commence duties at the beginning of 1961.

1957 – 1958

Mr A.E.J. Werman

B.A., A.Ed.

Following the promotion of Mr Milne in May 1957, Mr Werman commenced duties as the fifth Principal of Toowoomba State High School and Technical College. Mr Werman was a teacher of English at Gatton and was later appointed as Principal at Mareeba, Charters Towers and Warwick. Mr Werman was transferred to Toowoomba State High School and Technical College from Cairns.

Although Mr Werman is recorded in our history pages as the Principal with the shortest tenure (20 months) his contribution to the education of the students at that time remains significant. Mr Werman will also be remembered for his outstanding work in negotiations and preparations for the relocation of the school. In 1959 he was appointed as Principal at Kedron State High School.

1954 -1957

Mr F.T. Milne

B.A., A.Ed.

During his early years with the Department, Mr Milne established himself as an accomplished teacher with a particular flair for essay writing. He was soon promoted to administration and following his duties as Principal at Gatton and Warwick, he became Principal of Cairns State High School, Intermediate and Technical College.

Mr Milne was transferred to Toowoomba State High and Technical College and became the fourth Principal of our school at the commencement of 1954. In May of 1957, Mr Milne was promoted to School Inspector.

1948 – 1954

Mr F.H.R. Cafferky

B.A., A.Ed.

Upon his graduation from Queensland University, Mr Cafferky commenced his teaching career in 1916 at Howard near Maryborough. He served in a number of schools including Ayr, Herberton, Mundubbera, Tara, Wooloowin, Bowen, the Central Technical College in Brisbane, Cairns and Townsville.

Mr Cafferky was appointed to Toowoomba State High School and Technical College at the beginning of the 1948 school year however a rail strike postponed his arrival. He took up duties as the third Principal of the school on March 22 1948.

1935 – 1947

Mr J.A.C. Wilson


Mr Wilson’s early years with the Department were served in the northern centres of Mt. Britten, Plane Creek and Croyden. Following this, he returned to Brisbane and took up duties at Kangaroo Point (Boys’). Mr Wilson was then appointed as Head Teacher at Upper Kedron, Cootharaba Road, Childers and then Gatton High School. In 1935, Mr Wilson was appointed to Toowoomba State High School and Technical College, taking over from his good friend, Mr Hobson.

1919 – 1934

Mr C.A. Hobson


Mr Hobson was born in Manchester, England and educated at St. Mary’s College in Chelsea. Having served as an assistant master of Holy Trinity School, he travelled to South Africa to take up Principal duties of the Umtata Native Training College. He then returned to England to become headmaster of the Cambridge Public School in East London.

After fighting as a volunteer in the Bechuanaland campaign he travelled to Australia to resume his career in education. Mr Hobson acted as headmaster in a number of Queensland schools and in 1919 became the first Principal of the Toowoomba Technical College and State High School.​

Last reviewed 17 April 2019
Last updated 17 April 2019