Wallan school makes way for new leaders

By Aleksandra Bliszczyk

Our Lady of the Way Primary School in Wallan has selected its school leaders from its largest cohort to date.

Two school captains, two social justice and mission captains and eight house captains were elected out of 58 year six students.

Students and teachers made their selections last month, based on the students’ altruism and work ethic, paying close attention to how they made the most of remote learning during lockdown. 

“They showed responsibility towards others, compassion towards others, they’ve also shown that they can juggle their academics and extra responsibilities already,” year five and six teacher Mark Van Zyl said.

“We also looked at these kids coming up and how they juggled their workload at home and the things they did at home, and how they took their learning seriously.”

The school captains, Charli Dafos and Dylan Turner, will host assemblies throughout the year and act as role models to the other students and representatives for the school within the community.

Mr Van Zyl said they would also work closely with the social justice and mission leaders, whose role was to identify and support areas of the school community and the wider community most in need.

“Being a Catholic school, it’s all about going out and serving the community, so [the social justice and mission leaders] are going to help us model that to the school, but also to find some different charities and different organisations that need help in our community, that we can, as a school, follow and try to help out,” Mr Van Zyl said.

“It’s one of the biggest [roles] and one of the most rewarding ones too.”

Mission leaders Ananya Bonsrey and Chiboy Iroeche will organise fundraising events at the school, including an upcoming collection drive for St Vincent De Paul’s and raising money for impoverished communities in Africa.

“They did choose that role as what they wanted to go for and they both shine in that way, they’re always helping others, they’re always thinking of others before themselves and it was just an easy decision for them,” Mr Van Zyl said. 

“They’re both very, very creative kids too so hopefully they’ve got fresh ideas that they can bring to the party.”

House captains for 2021 are Aspen Singh, Alana Pulis, Tahlia Furfaro, Charlotte Marshall, Blaze Bertolini, Kobe Scinto, Tariana Bennett and Max Curcic. They will coordinate their houses for the school’s sports days and serve as exemplars of strong teamwork.

“It’s not necessarily just sport, it’s also about sportsmanship, so again being role models and just helping out,” Mr Van Zyl said.

The leadership team is the largest yet for the school, which was founded in 2018, so the leaders’ roles are more significant than ever. 

The school staff will be working closely with the leaders to foster their leadership skills, and are looking forward to seeing them and the cohort excel. 

“We’re only a fresh school and the first year here we only had four year six students so they all had a role, and then last year we gave some roles out but we didn’t utilise them because of COVID, so this year really is the first time that – fingers crossed it runs better than last year – they’re going to shine a little bit more,” Mr Van Zyl said.