Stawell Secondary College’s new acting principal Kevin O’Neil gave up life in Melbourne to commit to his latest leadership role.
Mr O’Neil has been planted in Victoria’s education system for 35 years. He worked for 10 years in Melton and then spent 25 years in Werribee at school with more than 1550 students.
He said he felt proud and privileged to be the acting principal at Stawell Secondary.
“I am very impressed by the commitment of all of the schools in Stawell and the surrounding area in supporting the wellbeing and needs of our students, and I look forward to working closely with them,” he said.
“The Stawell Secondary College community has welcomed me warmly and I already feel at home here having recently moved to Stawell.”
Mr O’Neil grew up in Geelong and attended Melbourne University.
He also completed a twelve month international fellowship in Hampshire, UK in 1998.
Mr O’Neil said he had an “active interest” in internationalising education at Stawell Secondary.
“I have chaired accreditation teams to visit several high performing international schools in South Australia and Queensland,” he said.
“This is a very good school – there is lots of potential, the kids are very good and we can do great things here.”
Mr O’Neil said his priorities were developing academic focus, building relationships and working with families.
“I want to further develop the academic focus and learning culture by actively engaging with parents in their child’s learning,” he said.
“I also want to work with families to improve student’s attendance at school – it is very difficult for students to catch up on days missed.
“We want our students and parents to value education and its potential to transform lives – it can make a huge difference to people’s life outcomes if they do well at school, have a good work ethic and are proud of their work.”
Mr O’Neil said the college continued to work with the Department of Education about the school’s plans to rebuild.
“We are currently looking at the Department’s latest draft,” he said.
“The project is about removing old buildings that are unfit for purpose and re-configuring existing buildings.”