20 July 2023

Welcoming new staff and the exciting term ahead

Heads of SchoolKewJunior School
Welcoming new staff and the exciting term ahead
Welcoming new staff and the exciting term ahead
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Welcome back to Junior School Kew for Term 3! I hope that you all had a restful break with your families. It has been wonderful to see our students settling back into the routines of school and reconnecting with their friends, eager and enthusiastic for the term ahead.

I am delighted to share with you news regarding new additions to our staff, as well as some important role updates within our Junior School community for this term.

Firstly, I would like to congratulate Dylan Benwell and his wife Steph on the arrival of their healthy baby girl, Pippa, during the holidays.

I am pleased to inform you that Mikl Longstaff is continuing to make a positive recovery following heart surgery last term and we wish him all the best in his continued healing process. We look forward to welcoming Mikl back in a modified capacity over the coming weeks. Stepping in to support with the delivery of the quality art program is Stacey Dines who will be teaching Year 1, 3 and 4 Art, in addition to her Year 5 and 6 classes. We have also been fortunate to secure an experienced Art teacher, Ms Maggie Vaiopoulos, who will be teaching Art in the ELC, Prep and Year 2. Maggie brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in teaching Art across all year levels, from Prep through to VCE. As a practising artist herself, we are confident that Maggie will inspire our young students to explore their creativity and continue to develop their artistic skills.

Alby Ingles will be on personal leave for this term, and I am pleased to announce that Emma Chiera will step in as Acting Deputy Head – Student Wellbeing, alongside her role as Leader of Learning in Inquiry. I am confident in Emma’s ability to provide valuable support to our students’ holistic development. Additionally, Bronwyn Vary will take on the Year 4–6 Leader responsibilities, while continuing in her role as the Learning Development Co-ordinator.

At the end of Term 2, we farewelled Miss Paige Deery, one of our Prep teachers. After careful consideration, the decision was made to bring Chris Skinner’s 20-plus years of Prep experience to the Prep DY classroom instead of taking over Jaci Newman’s Long Service Leave in 1NS. This change brings us great excitement as we warmly welcome Georgia Cook to our Year 1 team. Georgia joins us from St Andrew’s School, a prestigious school in Adelaide where she has been teaching Prep and Year 1 for the past two years. Prior to that, she worked at Chatham Primary School in Melbourne, teaching Years 5 and 6. Georgia is excited to return to her hometown of Melbourne and join the Carey community.

In addition to these staffing updates, I am pleased to introduce Ms Nicole Bush as our new Learning Development teacher, replacing Lynette Sutherland who accepted a position at Yarra Valley Grammar School to be closer to home. We extend our gratitude to Lynette for her contributions and wish her all the best in her new endeavour.

I would also like to acknowledge Ms Jacqui Douglas, who has been in the position of Acting Head of Junior School Library for the past 18 months where she has made a significant contribution to the Library program. Jacqui will be on medical leave for Semester 2. We warmly welcome Miss Aimee Murphy, who has been appointed as the new Head of Junior School Library. I am confident that Aimee will continue to foster a love for reading and provide exceptional library service to our students.

Please join us in extending a warm welcome to our new team members and acknowledging their valuable contributions.

Before concluding with staffing updates, I have some exciting news to share! I would like to congratulate Petrea Gheradin and her husband, Thomas, on their joyful news of expecting their second child in January. I would also like to congratulate Will Neville and his partner, Jess, on the wonderful news of expecting their first child, also in January. We share in their excitement and eagerly await the arrival of their little ones.

Looking ahead, we have an action-packed term planned for our students and parents. There are numerous events to anticipate, including year-level incursions and excursions, Year 5 drama rehearsals, the Year 2 to Year 4 intensive swimming program, soirees, Book Week, and the highly anticipated JSPA sausage sizzle at the end of term.

As we embark on Term 3, I wish everyone a positive and fulfilling term ahead. I would also like to express my sincere gratitude for the incredible level of parent engagement and attendance at exhibitions of learning and school events. Your support plays a pivotal role in creating a thriving learning environment for our students, and we are incredibly fortunate to have such an engaged and supportive community.

Kylie Baxter
Head of Junior School Kew

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