Unlike many teachers I did not come from a family of teachers and was the first member of my family to advance onto tertiary education. This opportunity was made possible through a teaching studentship, free tertiary education and a part-time job. As a studentship recipient I was bonded to the department for 3 years on the completion of my training and could be sent anywhere in Victoria.
My first teaching appointment in 1977 was at Norris Bank PS in Bundoora, team teaching Year 5 and 6 students with two more experienced teachers. Half way through the year I was transferred to Lalor West PS where I remained for the following 2 and a half years. I successfully applied for a position at Montmorency South PS and spent more than 5 years teaching Art and Craft.
After the birth of our first child I returned to teaching working as a Casual Relief Teacher. With the arrival of our second child I was kept very busy and didn’t work, outside the home, for two years. At the beginning of 1990 I enquired about returning to teaching on a part time basis and was offered a position at Pender’s Grove PS where I taught Physical Education for 1 year and Art and Craft for 2.
In 1992 when my youngest child commenced school I returned to full-time teaching at Findon PS. I remained at Findon for 8 years teaching students in the Early Years. From 2000 to 2004 I taught Middle Years students at Wales Street PS.
In 2004 I was one of four Northern Metropolitan Region female teachers selected to participate in the Eleanor Davis School Leadership Program. As part of the program I was provided with a wonderful mentor, Kate Saunders, who not only generously shared her own leadership knowledge and skills but supported me in acknowledging my own leadership capabilities. It was in this year that I successfully applied for the Assistant Principal position at Pender’s Grove PS and once again, I was supported by a wonderful mentor, Mary MacGregor, the then Principal.
In 2008, after Mary’s retirement, I successfully applied for the Principal position at Pender’s Grove. Before I was appointed as Principal I was asked what I believed the school would look like in five years’ time as a result of my leadership. At that time I believed that Pender’s Grove would become the school of choice for families in our area and this would be achieved through the promotion of:
- Improved student outcomes in Literacy and Numeracy
- Purposeful teaching that meets the needs of all students
- A stimulating and secure learning environment
- A diverse learning community that is representative of the wider community
- A commitment to supporting the learning opportunities of pre-school children
It has been through the efforts of our students and the commitment and hard work of teachers, education support staff, volunteers, parents and carers that my vision for Pender’s Grove Primary School has been realised. Pender’s Grove is, I believe, a very unique learning community and one that I have been very privileged and proud to lead. I can confidently retire knowing that the school will continue to grow and prosper.
Lastly I would like to thank my husband and children for their support and understanding of my moral purpose and commitment to education in Victoria.