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New faces at St Joseph's Primary School

St Joseph's Primary School has welcomed four new teachers to its staff this year.

MONIQUE FREER February 19, 2014 7:00am

St Josephís Primary School deputy principal Leigh Symons (right) is excited to welcome new teachers Jacqueline Dube, Katherine Barker, Stephanie Waddell and Xavier Norden to the staff


More than just students experienced their first day at school last month when St Joseph’s Primary School welcomed four new teachers to its staff.

Graduate teachers Jacqueline Dube and Katherine Barker began their careers this year, while Stephanie Waddell returned to her home town after teaching in Ballarat for several years.

Xavier Norden returned to north-east Victoria after teaching at Carlton Gardens Primary School.

This is the biggest intake of new teachers the primary school has seen, and deputy principal Leigh Symons said it was fantastic to welcome some younger teachers into the experienced staff.

‘‘It’s been really positive for the school,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ve seen a lot of growth in the last two years — our numbers are growing all the time.’’

Mr Symons said when he began at the school he was the only male teacher, however, he was joined last year by Andrew Cook teaching grades five and six, and Mr Norden teaching grades three and four this year.

‘‘They’re young teachers with fresh ideas and we’re really lucky to have another young male on staff,’’ he said.

The staff are all local; Ms Dube, Ms Barker and Ms Waddell grew up in Benalla, while Mr Norden is from Wangaratta.

Having done a teaching placement at St Joseph’s Primary School previously, Ms Waddell said she was excited to move home and teach grades four and five.

‘‘I went away for seven years and I wanted to come back and teach here. It’s such a warm, welcoming environment and I think they’re as good a school as anywhere in Australia,’’ Ms Waddell said.

‘‘They don’t have overly big class sizes.’’

Ms Dube and Ms Barker are both teaching grades one and two this year, and said it was great to have other new teachers on staff.

‘‘It’s great to bounce ideas off each other, it’s such a young, vibrant staff,’’ Ms Barker said.

‘‘It’s a very supportive school and it’s got better ratios of younger to older staff members, which is great,’’ Ms Dube said.

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