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Waroona District High School principal Gareth Smith finding his ground in new position

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Waroona District High School principal Gareth Smith with student leaders Isabelle Mendoza, 15, Sienna Pisconeri, 12, Lucas Birch, 11, and Jake Paterson, 15.
Camera IconWaroona District High School principal Gareth Smith with student leaders Isabelle Mendoza, 15, Sienna Pisconeri, 12, Lucas Birch, 11, and Jake Paterson, 15. Credit: Sean Van Der Wielen/Harvey-Waroona Reporter

He might be only a few weeks into the position, but new Waroona District High School principal Gareth Smith is likely to feel right at home in the job.

The experienced educator was formally appointed to the role at the start of Term 2 after serving as acting principal since the beginning of the school year.

He said it was “an honour and a privilege” to lead the school, describing it as “dynamic”.

“I am humbled by the experience and the support and welcome I have received from the community,” Mr Smith said.

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The new principal first arrived at Waroona District High School early last year in a deputy principal position overseeing the Year 5 to 7 students.

Mr Smith described the district high school environment of offering continuous education from kindergarten to Year 10 as “a unique position”.

“The smaller school setting means there are greater opportunities to get to know students, families and staff, enabling strong positive relationships to be built,” he said.

Mr Smith comes into the role with experience under his belt, having worked 18 years in the education sector across three different countries.

It is this experience which is likely to help him in his new position.

“Working in different education systems means I have been able to identify beneficial aspects of each that I have been able to apply to the context I am in,” Mr Smith said.

“While each country’s education system is different, education is first and foremost about relationships.”

His priority at the school is to build on the legacy of former principal Jacquie Abbiss, who departed late last year, and to play an integral role in the school’s ongoing success.

“My vision is for Waroona District High School to be the school of choice in the local community,” he said.

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