The Mirror News

Schools go back for 2023

Corner Inlet district schools have gone back for the start of the 2023 academic year, with most reporting greater numbers of students than were enrolled in 2022.

Foster Secondary College

Foster Secondary College (FSC) greeted a total of 291 students last week, up from 260 in 2022.

Acting Principal Dean Duursma said he and his colleagues were pleased to note that FSC’s enrolment has risen, after recording student figures averaging under 270 in recent years.

This year’s enrolment includes 57 Year 7 students, and 44 Year 12 Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) students.

“We are extremely excited about getting 2023 underway at FSC,” Mr Duursma said.

“With COVID (hopefully) long gone, we can really entrench the wonderful work our students and staff do every day as common regular practice across all year levels and subject domains. 

“Our Year 7 program is off to a flying start thanks to Year 7 Co-ordinator Kyle Materia who has helped this group of students to integrate smoothly into the FSC community,” he said.

“Our VCE students are already hard at work thanks to the Headstart program conducted at the end of 2022.

“We look forward to Richard Johnson taking over the VCE Department, following the past two years of wonderful results, the best in Gippsland! 

“Our staff work incredibly hard improving the curriculum and delivery methods each year and, with a number of new and returning staff this year, we are eager to welcome them all into our wonderful school,” Mr Duursma said.

“Megan Hawking is coming back to FSC on a part-time basis after eight years on maternity leave, and she will be teaching mathematics.  

“Former FSC student Adeline Collins has returned as a member of staff and is also teaching maths.

“Lachie Pezet is now teaching full-time in the English Department, together with Bron Clifton who is back part-time after some time away, and senior English teacher Gen Davies is back with us for Term 1.

“Louisa Vale is our new Careers Coordinator.

“We have a new member of the front office team in Cathy Gay, who will be at the front desk three days a week,” he said.

“2023 will be a great year for Foster Secondary College!”

Toora Primary School

Toora Primary School’s enrolment has grown again this year, and the school begins 2023 with 68 students, in comparison to 56 students in 2022.

Principal Luke Haustorfer said 14 Prep students have become members of the school community and they are in the care of teacher Sarah Lind.

“We have also welcomed four students into higher grades at the school, including some former Toora Primary students who have now returned to us,” he said.

“We’re really excited to have increased to four classes for 2023, with our class structure comprising Prep, Grades 1/2, Grades 3/4, and Grades 5/6.

We also meet a new teacher, Daniel O’Keefe, who has taken on the tutoring role for this year.

“It was great to see students get straight back into their learning on the first morning of the new school year,” Mr Haustorfer said.

“This term our students will be looking forward to our Term 1 swimming program, gymnastics lessons with Leongatha Gymnastics Club, and hopefully some Bike Education, too.”

Welshpool and District Primary School

The 2023 school year has commenced at Welshpool and District Primary School, and the students have “settled in beautifully,” according to principal Gabrielle Boyd.

“Our student population has increased by 20 per cent from last year, going from 30 students in 2022 up to 36 this year – look at us go!” she said.

“This year we have welcomed six new Preps into the school, and a former Welshpool and district family has come back and re-joined us, as well.

“On the first day of the 2023 school year the students were greeted by a new colourful playground space and, from the joy on the faces of students, I would say it has been a big hit, Mrs Boyd said.

“This year will see three classrooms operating, with Chloe Wade as the P/1 teacher ably supported by Jaimee Clavarino,  Deidre Zuidema as the Grade 2/3 teacher, and Joel Moore as the Grade 4/5/6 teacher.

“Sue Dower returns in her role as Welshpool’s specialist French and music teacher,” she said.

“At the end of 2022 we were a successful recipient of an Active Schools grant worth $30 000, which will fund the purchase of a school set of bicycles as well as storage for the bicycles.

“The grant will support staff in delivering road safe programs and allowing students access to the Great Southern Rail Trail during physical education lessons,” Mrs Boyd said.

“In 2022, the Victorian School Building Authority installed a ramp to the main classroom, and we’re looking forward to the rest of the project, a new inclusive bathroom and a ramp into the multipurpose building, being completed this year. 

“We’re also looking forward to extending our IncrediGirls program, which gained a Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal grant of $5000 last year,” she said.

“Developing our new Wetland Warriors program, to be led by our maintenance person, Mic, is another highlight for 2023.

“The WDPS Parents’ Club finished 2022 with the huge Christmas raffle, which sold out in a matter of weeks.

“Last year, our Parents’ Club raised about $10,000, which is a phenomenal effort from a wonderful group of hard-working parents,” Mrs Boyd said.

“Parents’ Club has already kicked off 2023 with the annual hot cross buns fundraiser in readiness for Easter, and anyone wishing to purchase hot cross buns can contact the school on 5688 1460,” she said.

“We are looking forward to a wonderful year of learning and fun, here at Welshpool and District Primary School.”

Fish Creek and District Primary School

Fish Creek and District Primary School opened its doors on the first day of the 2023 school year last week to 107 students, including 11 Preps.

Principal Dale Banks said this year’s enrolment was a little less than 2022’s total of 115 students, as some families have moved away from the Fish Creek area.

“There is a sense of warmth and calm as the kids at Fish Creek and District Primary School settle in for 2023,” he said.

“Break times have the kids enjoying the beautiful grounds by building cubbies, playing in the garden and even challenging the principal in cricket!

“The entrance of the school is looking fabulous with a new fence, carpark and retaining wall,” Mr Banks said.  

“Artworks have been included in the Silo Library, and it shouldn’t be long before the children will be able to use this unique space during lunchtime and recess.  

“Both the students and the staff at Fishy have excitedly welcomed our 11 Prep students, who are in the very capable hands of their teacher ‘Miss Shelley’.

“The school has also welcomed our new staff members, trainee teacher Lucas Vanderzalm and graduate teacher Jess Murray, who both will be supporting all our students and staff in various capacities throughout 2023,” he said. 

“The school also welcomes experienced and enthusiastic library teachers Jeanette Johnston and Sophie Calcott, who bring with them the MARC library, the library van and a wonderful collection of books for both Fish Creek and surrounding schools. 

“All the new staff and students will be supported and included in ‘Fishy Life’ by the solid Fish Creek School community of staff, students and families,” Mr Banks said.

Foster Primary School

The 2023 school year started with a wave of excitement at Foster Primary School with 24 new Prep enrolments.

Principal Scott Moorhouse said, “there were tears and laughter as these new students embarked on their learning adventure.

“This group of children may find the transition a little easier being able to see their former Kindergarten teachers through the fence of the new on-site Early Learning Centre,” he said.

“Foster Primary School would like the acknowledge the outstanding work done by the Prom Coast Centres for Children educators and the students’ parents in preparing them so well for this day.”

Mr Moorhouse said Foster Primary School welcomes 198 students across nine grades in 2023, a slightly lower enrolment than 2022’s 220 students.

“Among those joining Foster Primary this year are eight new families and we wish them all the greatest success in our community,” he said.

“We also welcome some new teachers Andrew Murray who joins our 3/4 team and Katelyn Ardley who joins our P/1/2 Team.

“There are many exciting activities planned for the school year and we look forward to a relatively interruption-free year,” Mr Moorhouse said.

“We strive to provide our students with new and exciting experiences that allow our students to grow in every aspect and give ‘Our Best Always’.”


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