Gippsland Grammar appoints Michele Wakeham as Principal
Gippsland Grammar has appointed Michele Wakeham as its new Principal, effective immediately.
Mrs Wakeham has been Gippsland Grammar’s Acting Principal since June this year. Prior to that Mrs Wakeham was the school’s Deputy Principal after moving to Gippsland in June 2021 from Trinity Grammar School in Kew. Previously Mrs Wakeham received an acknowledgement from Associated Public Schools of Victoria for more than 10 years of longstanding teaching excellence at Geelong Grammar, Melbourne Grammar and Scotch College.
Gippsland Grammar Board Chair Brendan Shepherd said the Board was unanimous in its utmost confidence that Mrs Wakeham was a strong leader for the Gippsland independent school.
“The appointment of a Principal is one of the most important tasks for any school Board”, Mr Shepherd said. “And after a rigorous recruitment process we are delighted to confirm Mrs Wakeham will continue to lead Gippsland Grammar into the future.
“Michele has a passion for innovative teaching and learning as well as an inspiring enthusiasm for cultivating a strong community across the school’s three campuses.
“We thank her for her unwavering dedication to our School during her tenure as Acting Principal. Over the past five months Michele has provided compassionate and unifying leadership and the Board sees her appointment as Principal as an exciting opportunity for our School.”
Gippsland Grammar’s Board worked alongside Fisher Leadership during the Principal recruitment process, which included an extensive three-week national advertising campaign and a two-round panel interview process with interviews held in both Melbourne and Gippsland.
Michele Wakeham said she was honoured to accept what she described as her ‘dream role’.
“When I first joined the Gippsland Grammar Community I considered the role of Deputy Principal -Teaching and Learning to be a dream opportunity for me,” Mrs Wakeham said. “But after almost a semester of immersing myself in the role to which I have now been appointed, I now consider the position of Gippsland Grammar’s Principal to be my new dream coming true.
“It is a role I feel ready for, excited about and invigorated by and I am looking forward to continue my journey in providing and nurturing the best learning experience and outcomes for students as well as fostering exciting and fulfilling careers for teachers.
“Gippsland families are so lucky to have access to this level of educational excellence while still enjoying the numerous benefits of living in regional Victoria. I am completely dedicated to leading the school as Principal and my family is equally thrilled to further anchor ourselves in this brilliant region.”
Mrs Wakeham said in the time she had been Acting Principal she had been overwhelmed by the support she had received from staff, students, School families, Board members, Principals from associated schools and members of the wider Gippsland community.
“I now have a much greater understanding of just how much the position of Gippsland Grammar’s Principal is both a privilege and an honour and I look forward to meeting the expectations and high standards for what this role demands,” she said.
Mrs Wakeham’s family includes her husband Laurie, who is Gippsland Grammar’s Head Groundsperson, and sons Trystan, Rhys and Bryn, who are all students at St Anne’s Campus. Mrs Wakeham’s father Don spent part of his childhood in Cowwarr and also lives with the family. Mrs Wakeham speaks Japanese, is St Mary’s Cathedral’s choir director and is a 2nd Dan black belt in taekwondo. The Wakehams are members of the Sale Golf Club, the Seaspray Surf Lifesaving Club, Sale Little Athletics Club and the Sale United Football Club.
As Principal, Mrs Wakeham will oversee Gippsland Grammar’s two Early Learning Centres and two junior campuses in Sale and Bairnsdale and its senior campus and Boarding House in Sale.
Gippsland Grammar background:
Gippsland Grammar is one of Australia’s leading co-educational Anglican schools, with a tradition of excellence in education extending almost 100 years. Located in the heart of Gippsland, the School has more than 1100 students across three campuses including St Anne’s junior campus and the Garnsey senior campus, both at Sale, and the Bairnsdale junior campus in East Gippsland. Enrolments at both junior campuses begin with a 3s and 4s kindergarten program at their respective Early Learning Centres (ELC) and Garnsey caters for students from Years 7-12. Gippsland Grammar is also the only boarding school east of Melbourne’s suburban fringe and is a home-away-from-home for students from far East Gippsland, South Gippsland, Victoria’s High Country and the Latrobe Valley as well as for a cohort of international students.
Gippsland Grammar’s 2021 VCE results:
Gippsland Grammar’s class of 2021 was among some of Victoria’s highest achieving Year 12 students. An amazing 21 per cent of the School’s Year 12 students achieved an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) above 90 and 38 per cent above 80, which places them in the top 10 percent, and 20 per cent, in the state respectively. Gippsland Grammar’s Dux for 2021 was Demi Edward with an ATAR of 99.2, two students achieved a perfect study score of 50 while 28 per cent of students achieved a study score above 40. Gippsland Grammar is also proud to acknowledge the 21 students from the 2021 cohort who made a successful transition into the workforce through an apprenticeship or traineeship.
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