Greater Shepparton College principals selected

By James Bennett

The new principals leading Greater Shepparton College (interim name) next year have been selected.

The principals will be responsible for their selected campus and the team includes executive principal Genevieve Simson and assistant principal for teaching and learning Megan Michalaidis.

Leading the Wanganui Park campus will be Ken Murray, at the Mooroopna campus will be Stephen Bolton, while coming from Nathalia Secondary College and heading up the McGuire campus will be John Sciacca.

The News understands eight other assistant principals have also been appointed.

Mr Murray said it was a strong group of people leading the new school.

“Together we all share extensive knowledge of secondary education.

“This is for us to do something transformational for education in Shepparton that will improve opportunity and pathways.

“We do acknowledge this is a significant change in Shepparton and we’re very open to communication with our school community and more broadly.”

What the principals said about their appointment and what they hope to achieve in their role:

Executive principal Genevieve Simson

“I’m thrilled to be working with such a talented team of experienced educators to make the promise of Greater Shepparton College (interim name) a reality.

“Together, we will ensure the new school meets our community’s needs and creates the best opportunities for students in the Shepparton region to learn, grow and succeed in their school education and beyond.

Ken Murray

“I want to bring the best of Wanganui Park Secondary College to the new school, and part of this means supporting all students and their individual wellbeing. I know from my experience in student wellbeing that when our young people feel happy, healthy, safe and cared for, they have the best opportunity to achieve their learning goals.

“We’ve chosen a model to cater for the individual student in a way that others cannot. Our pastoral care groups and House system will ensure a constant focus on student wellbeing, with a mentor appointed for each student to ensure consistency for learning and wellbeing discussions across each student’s time at the school.

“We will also be developing a stronger sense of belonging and community, where our young people graduate ready for the challenges that are ahead of them, and ready to positively contribute to the local and wider communities.

John Sciacca

“My focus is on making sure we prepare well for the start of 2020, so students and families feel comfortable, secure and confident as students begin their secondary education.

“I’m bringing all my expertise to setting up the culture of our new school. Our first Year 7s will be part of the first graduating class and among the leaders of the new school, and that’s why I’m putting all my energy into building relationships and ensuring the transition process for them is smooth.

“All students attending all of our campuses during this transition process will be cared for. We are placing students at the centre of everything we do.

“As someone who grew up in Shepparton and who has more than 30 years’ experience teaching and leading schools in the region, I feel privileged and excited to be involved in the development of the new school and improving outcomes for students in Shepparton.

Stephen Bolton

“Research tells us that what happens in the classroom is the most important factor in improving student outcomes, but there are other factors that have an influence on student achievement.

“My aim is to ensure that those things we can control – such as getting students to school in a timely manner on buses, having access to the appropriate technology and a guaranteed and viable curriculum – are in place, to enable students to access the educational experience that will equip them with the skills they need to be successful post-school.

“I’m bringing the experience from my time leading Mooroopna Secondary College to create environments with the right resources and right support that are conducive to student learning.

Assistant principal for teaching and learning Megan Michalaidis

“I’m working to achieve a key goal of this new school, which is to increase the breadth of subjects offered to secondary students in Shepparton.

“We will have a focus on literacy and numeracy, with extra time devoted to these classes to build skills of students. Our curriculum will be designed to challenge and support students to further develop and improve, in turn helping students to build the skills they need for later life.

“I’m so looking forward to working with a talented team of teachers to lift the outcomes of all students in Greater Shepparton, now and in the future.