Principally proud in leadership role

MEENIYAN resident Gene VanderZalm is Tarwin Valley Primary School’s new principal and is proud to put a name to each of his 111 students.
The school welcomed Mr VanderZalm as acting principal in term two after former principal Brett Smith became principal at Inverloch-Kongwak Primary School.
Mr VanderZalm and his family have a strong connection to the school and the Meeniyan community in general, where he coaches basketball and has his sons employed at Moo’s Cafe.
Originally from the Latrobe Valley growing up in Yinnar, he is pleased with the progress the school is making of late.
“Our school was recently awarded a $500,000 State Government grant. We welcomed this with open arms, conducted a consultation process together with both students and staff and produced at an asset inventory, identifying areas for improvement. We decided our administration buildings and facilities required needy upgrades, in addition to front of school signage,” Mr VanderZalm noted.
“I am pleased to work in a school where its small size allows intimate attention to be provided to students. Our local community is also involved with activities here including breakfasts, with food kindly donated by Pandesal, Meeniyan IGA, Meeniyan Food Store and Meen Feedz. At school, we are also particularly proud of our wellbeing and side by side programs. We believe these are an important part of our curriculum.”
Wellbeing programs at the school promote and support children’s issues that affect personal health, happiness, comfort and emotional health.
The school has previously held mindfulness session that introduce students to aromatherapy and massage.
Currently, the school is hosting two teachers from Cambodia and Mr VanderZalm believes this is an excellent opportunity for students from small towns to gain wider perspectives beyond their immediate localities. The two teachers are observing and reporting on their cultural exchange, leaving on November 19.

New principal: Tarwin Valley Primary School’s new principal Gene VanderZalm, at the Meeniyan school where has taken over the role previously held by Brett Smith, now principal at Inverloch-Kongwak Primary School.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=26421

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