New boss starts her new job

WILLMOT Public School's new principal Anne Denham loves a challenge. The former Parklea Public School deputy principal, who first taught at a Whalan school of 2000 children, said it had been her goal for the past 10 years to become a principal in the area.

"We've got great staff who've been here for 15 years and some have been here for less than a year, so it's interesting to come here with fresh eyes," she said. "It's also lovely to come in to a school of fewer than 200 children.

"There's more of a chance to get to know every one, their backgrounds and aspirations."

Mrs Denham said she was conscious of being approachable to the parent community so they see the school as a place for help, support or guidance, not just somewhere academic.

"We see their children as whole people and are trying to feed and water all aspects [of their growth]," she said.

"The challenge is learning what makes the kids tick and what'll give them the most access to knowledge - like looking for a silver bullet."

The school was reviewed before she took up the post so there are clear terms of reference for future improvements. She is looking forward to working again in a diverse community where 25 per cent of the school's students are Aboriginal.

"We're very diverse in terms of academic ability and opportunity," she said. "That's a fantastic part of the job. Our Aboriginal education officer lives and breathes being an advocate for the children.

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