Staff News

Last week we all received the news that Principal, Jonathan Walter, has accepted a new principalship at Carey Grammar School from the commencement of 2020. One of Jonathan’s many accomplishments has been the successful merger of Penbank with Woodleigh School, 2015. Since then, it has been a very big responsibility amalgamating the schools, and I personally thank Jonathan for his commitment to bringing the schools successfully together. It has been a pleasure working with Jonathan throughout these years and I congratulate him on this next exciting step as a school leader.

Deputy Head to the Penbank Campus, Brenda Karnowski, too, has decided it is time to conclude her time at the school. Involving 35 years of devoted service, Brenda’s contribution to the school throughout this time has been momentous. Classroom teacher, Deputy Head, including her responsibilities leading curriculum change, have been highly valued. As with Camelia (you’ll read below), the lure of retirement, travel and being with grandchildren are all exciting enticements ahead. We will have the opportunity to farewell Brenda later in the year. Brenda will also conclude her time at Penbank at the end of the year.

Camelia Boulten has been a much-loved educator in our Early Learning Centre. Camelia has largely worked in a casual capacity relieving at lunchtimes and when staff are away. Camelia has decided she is now ready to fully retire. Camelia and her family have planned a trip around Australia next term, which will be an exciting way to begin her retirement. We thank Camelia enormously for her support to our ELC and wish her great times ahead for the coming years. Thank you, Camelia – the children and staff will really miss you.

Although few of our existing families will remember Deanne Thomas, we also recently farewelled Deanne for 29 years of service to the school as Finance Director of the Board. Deanne had significant influence concerning the direction of Penbank School and was instrumental in numerous developments including milestones such as the purchase of the Springs, which enabled the school to develop the wonderful outdoor facilities that our children enjoy today. In 2001, Deanne was invited to take on the same position on the Woodleigh School Board. Deanne’s knowledge of both schools and exceptional professionalism has contributed to the overall success of the school. On behalf of the Penbank community, I thank Deanne enormously for her contribution.

National Reconciliation Week was such a thrill… but not without its spills! While at Wugularr School, our Year 5 teacher, Lorraine, had a fall that resulted in quite a severely fractured elbow. She is now in recovery mode following surgery. Due to Lorraine’s absence, her Year 5 reports were unable to be distributed with the other student reports. We are hopeful they will be distributed by the end of term. We all wish Lorraine well with her recovery. I thank fellow Year 5 teacher, Matthew C, Franny C and Sally C for their support to Lorraine’s Group while Lorraine has been away. 

We were very excited to hear the news that baby Albie arrived safely on 16 May. Both Mel and Seb are thoroughly enjoying parenthood and little Albie is doing exceptionally well. Little Albie is already having play dates with Sophie’s little Grace, born a month earlier! Both Mel and Sophie are former Penbank Prep teachers and I know will be lovely mums. We loved meeting the babies at a recent staff gathering. Congratulations to the Roper and Powell families.