From the Principal

​Dear Parents,

It has been fantastic to commence Term 4 in such a positive way, through the celebration of the creative and performing arts at our School. The opening of the Woodleigh Arts Festival was a wonderful celebration of the students' creativity across the Senior Campus, showcasing their talents in film, music performance, dramatic production and fine arts. We congratulate the team of teaching staff responsible for this part of our program, so capably led by Carey Saunders, Cathy Holt and Kristen Guthrie. I particularly acknowledge the efforts of Carey Saunders who has coordinated the Arts Festival program for twelve years. This year marks her last coordinating the program as she relinquishes this responsibly to focus on the further development of our Indigenous Education offering at School.

At our Penbank Campus, this term the focus is also on the Arts and we look forward to the culminating performance of their CREATE project on Wednesday 20 November, bringing together all of their creative efforts from the term.

There is always significant change in our staffing at this time of year, as we set up for the year ahead. We have some key staff heading off on extended periods of leave; Gina Bolch and Deb Agar will be on leave throughout 2020 and we hope they both enjoy a well deserved break.

I would also like to particularly acknowledge the contribution of three long-serving staff members who will be leaving Woodleigh at the end of the year. Laurent Julicher, Director of Senior Homestead, is to be congratulated on his appointment as Director of Student Learning at Cornish College. He will be departing at the end of 2019 after 23 years of committed service to our school, most notably in his role as Director of Senior Homestead where he has devoted himself to supporting our Year 11 and 12 students through their VCE journey. He has brought enormous compassion and commitment to this role, always fostering the development of supportive relationships. 

After a career spanning 30 years at Woodleigh School, Nigel Lawler will retire at the end of 2019. Following a long stint as Head of Senior Homestead, Nigel spent seven years as Vice Principal and Head of Senior Campus. An outstanding English and Literature teacher, Nigel has always been hugely respected by the students, staff and parents of our school. We are enormously grateful for his service to our community and his stewardship of the values of the school. We thank Nigel for his dedication to our school, and the care and support he has offered to all members of the Woodleigh community.  

Brenda Karnowski draws a long and distinguished career at our Penbank Campus to a close this year also. Brenda has served our community with distinction for 35 years, with the great majority of those spent as Deputy Head. By any measure this is an extraordinary contribution to a community! Brenda's approach towards education epitomises Woodleigh's commitment to developing strong partnerships with families to support their children through a rich learning journey.

As our VCE students enter SWOTVAC, we wish them well as they undertake the culminating performances with a view to be able to show VCE examiners all they have learnt over the course of their journey here at Woodleigh. It will be a great pleasure to celebrate their achievements at the upcoming Valedictory dinner. We thank all the VCE teachers for their hard work in supporting students in their preparations for these final examinations.

Best wishes,

Jonathan Walter