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Principal announced for Werribee’s newest primary school

A Principal with almost a quarter of a century of experience in rural and regional Catholic schools has been appointed to lead the new St Joseph’s primary school in Werribee’s Harpley estate, opening next year.

Shelley Ryan will soon finish her role as acting Principal of two country schools on the edge of Ballarat and will begin the full-time job of overseeing construction of St Joseph’s as well as the even bigger task of building the school community.

In establishing a vision for St Joseph’s, Shelley will look to build a school that actions courage, service, kindness and respect. “I will be encouraging our students to be change agents in our community to make a real difference. Together with staff and families we will build a Catholic school culture where everyone feels included, valued and accepted,” she said.

“I see this as an opportunity for St Joseph’s to be a school that pursues the highest levels of learning for all students, promotes problem solving, creativity and critical thinking so that our students are prepared to tackle the challenges of the future,” she said.

When it comes to recruiting teachers for the school Shelley said she will be looking for courageous teachers who really see their students and enable them to reach their fullest potential, without limitation.

“Our teachers will be genuine and authentic people who will work collaboratively to build their own capacity as well as share in their knowledge, so that our teachers, parents and students will grow and flourish in a stimulating and innovative learning environment,” she said.

“The planned stunning new school facilities, which in time will have beautiful and stimulating gardens and interactive outdoor spaces. These spaces will invite students to enter an environment of beauty, wonder, curiosity and challenge to construct and problem solve.”

In her personal time Shelley loves spending time with her husband Patrick and their four teenage children on their farm, taking care of their alpacas and sheep. She also enjoys camping, reading, cooking (and eating!), laughing at a good joke and listening to stories. And also supporting her beloved Geelong Cats!

Construction of St Joseph’s $5.7 million stage one has begun onsite on the corner of Treeve Parkway and Fairhall Avenue, Werribee, within the new Harpley Estate.

The name honours the history of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart who have been involved in the Parish of Werribee since 1906. The Josephite sisters were sent to Werribee to administer St Andrew’s school by Australia’s first saint, Saint Mary McKillop.

The stage one construction will cater for 200 students, with eight learning spaces over two storeys as well as specialist learning areas, breakout spaces and administration facilities. The school will be completed across a further two stages and will cater to a final school population of around 500 students.

Shelley will soon advertise for prospective families to book an enrolment information meeting with her to understand more about her vision for St Joseph’s and how the school will develop and nurture its students.

Families interested in attending St Joseph’s or meeting Shelley are encouraged sign up for news updates via the school website. Alternatively, they can email or call 8742 3381 with any questions.

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