After nearly a decade and a half, St Mary’s Catholic Primary School will need to learn how to cope without principal Kerrie Basha for two years.
Mrs Basha is on secondment, taking a role with the Catholic Diocese in Bathurst as an Education Officer for Student Wellbeing and Safeguarding, covering 33 schools across the Central West.
Despite the new role operating out of Bathurst, Mrs Basha will still be around St Mary’s one day a week, before ramping up to two when a $6.1 million dollar development begins next year.
Even though she knows the departure won’t be permanent, it’s still proven a good time to reflect on her 13 years at St Mary’s, which says is an “amazing” and “beautiful” school.
“I’m a really proud principal and I will shout that from the top of Mount Canobolas and say to anyone who listens this is a heavenly place to work and come to, I’m fortunate to come here every day,” she said.
The school’s location is a large part of her love for the grounds, which have plenty of trees and green spaces – “every room has a view” – while it’s also adjacent to the PCYC, ovals and the Orange Tenpin Bowls.
This year marks the 30th year since the school relocated from the old Edward Street campus, and St Mary’s will be throwing an evening for teachers and students past and present to celebrate on September 22.
Mrs Basha said it would be a fantastic opportunity for the school community to come together, and she was stoked that she’d seen so many former students bring their own children back to the school.
The generational change has almost been long enough for Mrs Basha to notice herself, with teaching changing drastically in the 13 years at the helm.
“I certainly have seen a lot of chances over the time, there’s as focus on keep up with contemporary learning and traditional learning and to have a balance between them,” she said.
“There’s been a lot of new technology and STEM programs, but one of the biggest things is the learning the used to be reserved for high school is now in primary school.
“Students are expected to be more independent in their learning at an earlier age with things like setting goals and looking to achieve those personal goals and we encourage it and celebrate it when they reach them, that’s been a big change.”
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