By Tricia Mifsud
AFTER nearly two decades at Wallan Primary School, and a career spanning a further 20 years, principal Ann Stevens will retire from the education industry at the end of the year.
Ms Stevens began her 18 years at Wallan Primary School as an assistant principal, before moving into the head role.
She said during her time, she was able to oversee significant progress within the school. A principal’s contract is renewed every five years, and after Ms Steven’s first five years as Wallan’s principal, she knew she wasn’t ready to retire just yet, and took the contract extension.
However this time, she knew it was her time to pass the role on.
“There’s lots of amazing things that we’ve done over the period of time, down to the serious stuff of schooling like improvement in student outcome data, and we’ve made significant progress in meeting targets, and we’re meeting all of the plans that we put in place,” she said.
“In terms of leaving the school in a good place, I’m pretty excited and satisfied with my work in that regard.
“We’ve had a huge cultural shift in the school and seeing the strength of the school, and my staff is amazing. They build incredibly strong relationships with the children and even though that’s their job, if it’s not the centre of your work, then it doesn’t necessarily happen.”
Another key focus of Ms Stevens during her time was to ensure all her students had access to a complete education experience, which included not only studies in the classroom, but participation in sport, camps, incursions and excursions.
“We get equity funding, and other levels of funding that we’ve never had before so for the past six or seven years, families in this school don’t pay anything to send their children to school. The equity funding covers incursions, and excursions are capped at $25 regardless of what it is,” she said.
“The idea around that is that everyone can participate in whatever they like, because a student’s strongest point in their education may be sport and they shouldn’t have to miss out on that.
“And the whole point of that is the quality of education and receiving the best education, so regardless of your family circumstance, because even though we know the families, we don’t always know everything, you’re going to be able to participate and be a part of the primary school.”
Ms Stevens thanked the families of students at Wallan Primary School over her tenure and said she was proud to finish her career the way she had.
She is now looking forward to a much-deserved break and no more early alarms.
“This is an amazing school and the staff is fabulous and I’m very proud of everything that we’ve achieved over the years and I wish them well,” she said.
“My original plans were for overseas travel but we won’t be doing that now, so sleeping first and no more alarm, that’s going to be such a joy.
“For now though, it’ll be my garden, dogs and getting up and planning my day however I want to plan it.”