Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

New acting principal for Seymour College

Gail Hardman to take over in the absence of Tim McCartin.

CHALPAT SONTI July 23, 2014 3:37am

Seymour College acting principal Gail Hardman with Tom Goodman, 10, Luke Allison, 7, Sam Durham, 13, Joshua Vearing, 6, Chanel Comfort, 9, and Emily Kemp, 10.

Seymour College has a new acting principal.

Gail Hardman has stepped up to the role in the absence of Tim McCartin, who is on indefinite sick leave.

While a date has not been set for Mr McCartin’s return, Mrs Hardman is pleased to take on a new role.

‘‘I’m excited by the challenge,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s a happy and safe environment that we foster here and my main focus is to ensure that continues and our students have the best education offered to them that we can provide. I’m very passionate about the school and the community.’’

A ‘‘strong and experienced’’ staff was a strong point of the school and she said she would make full use of that experience.

Mrs Hardman, wife of former State Member for Seymour Ben (also a teacher), started teaching in 1992 at Puckapunyal Primary School before a 10-year stint at the old Seymour East Primary School under Steve Pink.

She has also taught at Tallarook and the old Grant St Primary.

‘‘I’ve been at most of the smaller schools around here,’’ she said.

Mrs Hardman has more recently been — after returning to teaching in 2011 — an assistant principal at Seymour College specialising in the curriculum, and she saw this as a strength for her new role.

‘‘That’s allowed me to know all the staff and students and parents from Foundation (Prep) to Year 12,’’ she said.

‘‘I’m not locked into an area so hopefully that will stand me in good stead. I’m also active on the school council and had some experience on the admin side.’’

But despite all that, the job would be a ‘‘big learning curve’’.

‘‘It’s a complex setting where you’re dealing with children from years 6-18 and special education, the Trades Training Centre is located here and you’re dealing with other secondary colleges as well (Whittlesea, Broadford, Assumption and Yea) and the curriculum is very broad.

‘‘We also work with children from birth to pre-school and their parents with various programs and the relationships are very wide.

‘‘Combining ourselves as a college will take time, change can be very confronting for many people and part of my role is to make sure change can be supported.’’

Mrs Hardman will do the rounds of other principals as well as service clubs, who have been great supporters of the school.

‘‘The community does support the school,’’ she said.

‘‘As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child.’’

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