In Noirétable (Loire), Jacques Brunel, former director of the school, helped build the new school building

After 27 years of good and faithful service as a teacher and director of the public school of Noirétable, Jacques Brunel saw the dawn of retirement. It was in 1998. The year in which he very symbolically received the medal of the City.
An award that 24 years later the affable, posed and somewhat mischievous man still does not seem to be proud of. “I feel a certain satisfaction, but I’ve never been very ‘medal’,” he would almost apologize.
Jacques Brunel received this award for his entire career and his investment in the city. Far from resting on such laurels, the former councilor at the time of Denis Tamain, 10 years later, would actively participate in the construction of the new public school building.

From Madagascar to Noirétable

Born in 1943 in Boën-sur-Lignon, Jacques Brunel did not begin his career in the national education system until the early 1970s, after spending two years in Madagascar as part of his military service, where he taught in the first class. “At the time 40 students per class, when I now hear that 25 students are too many…”, he laughs.

In Thiers (Puy-de-Dôme), Boris Surjon, medalist of the city, is behind the experiment Zero unemployment areas

In 1971 he finally put his suitcases, notebooks and other compasses in Noirétable and became director the following year.

In the 1970s, 200 students attended the municipal school and the teacher will have seen nearly 800 students walking through his class.

The man is a centipede, he learns by himself and perhaps wants to share his knowledge through professional deformation. “In the 1990s, we got an entire computer system that had to be set up and connected to a network. I took care of it, but I spent time there without any training,” he recalls.

Break down to build again

Like other dedicated teachers, he looks beyond the walls of his classroom and leverages his network to open up the field of opportunity for his students.

“The secular association allowed us to finance part of the cross-country equipment to go to the Col de la Loge, we also launched the discovery classes in Sérignan (Hérault) for CM1 and CM2, up to six days, about fifty students left every year, the is still going on.

Jacques Brunel (Former director of the Noirétable Public School)

Jacques Brunel, who was elected to the opposition in 1989 and to the majority in 1995, volunteered to study the issue of one of the two buildings of the Noirétable public school.
We are in the mid-2000s. The poorly insulated structure, parallel to the historic building, housed the college until it moved in the early 1980s. It has grown too large for the lower classes who have since moved into the premises. had taken possession. “I was teaching in a room of 120 m2 at the time,” says the director.

Few principals have participated in the demolition of their school!

The municipal team is therefore considering the demolition of this second building to rebuild another, more suitable building. Joint work. “We’ve always trusted each other in these work teams and there’s never been any hierarchy. For example, the 1st delegate received the same allowances as the fifth delegate. It’s quite rare,” laughs Jacques Brunel.

At the age of 66, he is still at the head of his company created… at the time of retirement, in Chabreloche (Puy-de-Dôme)

In the early 2010s, the second building was finally demolished to make way for a new structure. The first building has been preserved. The new property is partly made of wood and meets current standards and is also equipped with solar panels. “We had chosen to build it perpendicular to the wind direction to protect the playground,” says Jacques Brunel.

The municipal archive of Thiers (Puy-de-Dôme) dedicates an exhibition to the evolution of two squares

Like him, few school principals can claim to have participated in the demolition and then rebuilding of their establishment. And in the eyes of the person concerned, at the moment of the balance, it suddenly turns out to be a semblance of mischief. The same light that twinkles when Jacques Brunel talks about his former students whom he still meets every day. “Some are now my taxi or my hairdresser. For some it’s “Mr Brunel and you”, for others “Jacques and you”, or even “Jacques and you”, but there are fewer of them”, laughs the pensioner.

You don’t replace a principal as easily, in memory, as a schoolhouse.

Yann Terrati

Leave a Comment