BUNDABERG East State School Principal Doug Ambrose received a surprise visit from Education Minister Kate Jones who paid tribute to the principal's 42-year-career.
Mr Ambrose will take long service leave from tomorrow before retiring.
"Mr Ambrose has helped create a wonderful school community here in Bundaberg,” Ms Jones said, who visited the school yesterday.
"His inspired leadership was never more evident than during and after the floods of January 2013, when the school was inundated.
"It was a wonderful example of the school and community coming together, something Mr Ambrose has strived for his entire career.”
Mr Ambrose was awarded an OAM for services to primary education in the Australia Day Honours List last year.