Catherine Pianta recognised as a positive role model for other educators at her retirement dinner.July 3, 2014 3:20am
Retiring Benalla teacher and principal Cathy Pianta with former Benalla College School Council presidents Noel Baumgarten and Gary Harper.
Leader of the Benalla Regeneration Project and former Benalla College principal Catherine Pianta celebrated her retirement from educational leadership last week with colleagues, friends and family.
Ms Pianta held many roles throughout her long career in education, including educational options consultant for the region, principal of Beechworth and Wilmot Road primary schools, assistant principal and principal of Benalla College and leader of the Benalla Regeneration Project.
Ms Pianta was also a leader of the Benalla Schools Cluster and the Trade Training Centre Consortium together with being a long-serving and voluntary member of the board of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.
She is renowned for providing a positive educational role model for her staff.
Former Benalla College principal Thomas Greene and former DEECD regional director Adele Pottenger said Ms Pianta always prioritised her students.
‘‘No educational leader we know in our careers has displayed higher levels of energy, integrity, fortitude and passion,’’ they said in a tribute that was read out at Ms Pianta’s retirement dinner.
‘‘These qualities derive from, and complement, an unshakeable belief in the potential and development of young people, regardless of their circumstance and the challenges they might face.
‘‘Long before it became a fashionable mantra of others in the profession, you always put students at the centre in your daily work and ensured that what was in their best short and long-term interests actually informed and guided your decision-making and the causes you championed.’’
In 2007 Ms Pianta was awarded a Research Fellowship by Victorian Association of Secondary School Principals to visit Finland and later share her insights at the Australian Secondary Principals’ conference.
Benalla College was recognised as a high achieving Victorian school and in 2010 Ms Pianta represented the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development in Kuala Lumpur to share her strategies for leading this success.
Setting high standards for all staff, Benalla College developed an inclusive culture which led it to become a ‘lighthouse school’ in this area. These achievements together with strong links to the local community, mentoring of aspirant principals and support from the school community were highlighted when Ms Pianta was awarded the 2011 Hume Leadership Excellence Award.
Under Ms Pianta’s leadership, Benalla College won a Victorian Education Excellence Award for work in youth pathways and transitions. This resulted in recent educational research in Boston and New York City, which is now being shared with other Victorian schools and career networks.
In 2012 Ms Pianta received high distinctions in a Master of Literacy degree at the University of Melbourne which assisted her to implement strategies to improve literacy from early years through to Year 12.
In November 2012 she was made a fellow of the Australian Council of Educational Leadership in recognition of her leadership over many years to establish child-centred learning cultures in all the schools that she has led.
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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