Wendy Haynes retires
Principal Wendy Haynes, the keystone of Alice Springs-based Acacia Hill School, is retiring. The regional Principal of the Year award winner — now in her seventh year at the special needs school — has been in Alice Springs since 1985.
Before becoming principal at Acacia Hill School, she worked as a classroom or specialist teacher, a regional curriculum advisor, a TAFE instructor, a senior teacher at Larapinta Primary School, and as assistant principal at Alice Springs School of the Air and Sadadeen Primary School.
Ms Haynes said: “It has been a real privilege to lead this school – to be an instructional leader, making decisions based on our vision of being a centre of excellence for special needs’ education, and leading the focus on learning programs for our diverse group of students based on the mindset that ‘no student is too anything to learn’.
“It has been inspiring seeing students make progress, leading a team of very dedicated staff, and coordinating programs that motivate students to be their best in all areas.
“I am proud to have presided over a collaborative school with many community partnerships, and where every staff member is highly responsive to the needs of children in a very diverse student population.”
Among her achievements, Ms Haynes cites the installation of the school’s hydrotherapy pool, the establishment of satellite classes at four mainstream schools, the implementation of the Four Blocks for Building Literacy Success, Abilities Based Learning & Education Support (ABLES) assessments, numerous community and mainstream school partnerships, and the secondary work readiness program.
Ms Haynes added: “Acacia Hill School was the recipient of the 2016 NT Disability Services Award – Excellence in Education, five staff have received teacher excellence awards, and three staff have received mayoral awards for International Day of People With Disability.
“I will greatly miss being an educator in Alice Springs, but it’s the right time to hand over to the new principal, Julie Permezel. I will always maintain contact with education in different ways, but first I will have my own ‘gap year’ with family interstate and some international travel plans.”
She leaves the school on 31 December 2018.