Principal farewelled

December 20, 2017

Benalla P-12 College principal Barbara O'Brien

Benalla P-12 College principal Ms Barbara O’Brien will say goodbye to the school after more than five years at the helm.

In her time she has overseen the amalgamation of four local schools into what we now know as Benalla P-12.

She will be moving into a senior position in the region taking up an executive principal role, which will involve overseeing a number of schools, working closely with their principals to deliver the best outcomes for students.

Ms O’Brien said the decision to move on was not an easy one.

‘‘I’ve agonised over this for some time,’’ Ms O’Brien said.

‘‘I was asked about the new position to see if I was interested in applying.

‘‘At the time I didn’t think I was ready to move on because I’ve got lots of things happening here that I’d love to see through.

‘‘But I come from Shepparton and this position is closer to home.

‘‘In the end I decided I’d have a look at it, so I applied and then I was appointed to the role.

‘‘I feel it’s probably two years earlier than I’d have hoped.

‘‘But I’d still love to have been here for another couple of years to have seen through a few more projects that we’re in the middle of.’’

Ms O’Brien joined the school in 2012 in a role designed to assist with the merging of four schools.

‘‘That was in July 2012 and then the schools merged and commenced on January 1, 2013,’’ she said.

‘‘So, in that six months I was what they called an interim principal.

‘‘I was here to assist with the merging, then I was appointed as principal for the commencement of the 2013 year.

‘‘There’s been lots of highlights in that time. I think the fact that we were four schools, we all had different cultures and different ways of doing things, and to merge us into one school and create a single culture, that’s been a really major highlight.

‘‘My parting message to the students is to really have a go at every single thing that’s presented to them whether it be in sport, in music, or academically, that nothing is beyond their reach, that they can have a go at everything and they’d be surprised at how well they’d succeed.

‘‘It’s been an absolute privilege and an honour to be the inaugural principal of Benalla P-12 College and to lead the school to where it is today.

‘‘We’ve achieved a great deal in that time, which will be obvious in our outcomes in the next five years.’’

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