By Jackson Russell
The Kilmore International School announced a change of leadership last week with Andrew Taylor retiring as principal at the end of term two, to be replaced by deputy principal Peter Cooper.
Mr Taylor’s retirement comes after nine years at the helm following stints at Healesville Secondary College, Wesley College and Jerudong International School in Brunei.
Mr Cooper’s appointment is part of a succession plan after he was recruited as deputy principal and principal-elect in April 2019.
Mr Taylor will stay on with the school as a consultant to the board until the end of term three.
The Kilmore International School chair Rod Dally said the school was losing a ‘good man’.
“We’re losing a good man who’s been there nine years and through thick and thin, suffered several troubles through the global financial crisis where the school looked like it was in trouble,” Mr Dally said.
“He’s introduced a lot of things on the way through and he’s done an outstanding job.”
During Mr Taylor’s tenure, the majority of TKIS students graduated with ATAR scores in the 90s and received offers from leading universities worldwide.
Mr Taylor built a culture of inclusiveness by welcoming students and parents, visiting classrooms, decorating walls, distributing authority and celebrating accomplishments.
Mr Taylor said the time seemed right to hand over the reins to Mr Cooper.
“I’m not getting any younger and it seemed appropriate to me after discussions with my family to conclude this particular chapter and then have some rest, because although it’s been fulfilling, it’s also been quite an arduous role here as principal,” he said.
“The Kilmore International School has really provided an opportunity for me to support the development of this unique school in the inner regional area of Kilmore and provide a venue and an experience for students that is quite different from other schools.
“It’s been a great honour to assist that provision which I think is probably unique in Australian education.”
Mr Taylor said one of his proudest achievements was increasing the provision of languages students were able to study at TKIS.
“I’m proud of the increased diversity I’ve brought to the school and to the teaching staff,” he said.
“I’ve sought to strengthen the range of people, including international appointments, to our teaching staff, and increased the number of languages we offer with dedicated teachers.
“We probably have the largest language provision of any school in Victoria, even though we’re a small school of 400 students.”
Mr Taylor said it had been an honour and privilege to lead the school.
“I believe that the promise of the future is greater than the past and I want the students and families to know it’s been a real privilege to lead this very important educational institution,” he said.