HONOURED: St Joseph's Catholic Primary School Gayndah assistant principal and religious education teacher Bec O'Connor and principal Terese Shephard.
HONOURED: St Joseph's Catholic Primary School Gayndah assistant principal and religious education teacher Bec O'Connor and principal Terese Shephard. Contributed

Principal 'honoured' to lead school in milestone year

THE principal of St Joseph's Catholic Primary School Gayndah says it is an "incredible honour” to be leading the school, which is on the cusp of its centenary and is throwing a party this weekend to celebrate.

"St Joseph's is in the privileged position of standing on the shoulders of all who have gone before us in Catholic education,” principal Terese Shephard said.

"This 100 years celebration is just a small part of the story, yet for us it is the culmination of imagining our story, living our story and celebrating our story spanning the past 100 years.”

Ms Shephard said this weekend was chosen for the celebration as September 14 commemorated the blessing of the convent, what is now known as the Gayndah Arts and Cultural Centre.

"The school itself was opened on October 6, 1919, with 56 students,” she said.

"No doubt those first students would hardly recognise the classrooms of our 21st century learners with iPads and SMART boards.

"Many changes have occurred in the past 100 years but there is much that we retain.

"The values we espouse at St Joseph's are influenced by the Order of The Good Samaritan Sisters and are taken from the Benedictine Rule, which the Good Samaritan Sisters identified as being particularly significant to their order.

"These values include: community, partnership, hospitality, stewardship, peace, balance, compassion, humility, healing, and listening.

"These values are underpinned by the word of God and prayer.

"They are expressed through the School Prayer and Song and practised in the daily interactions between all members of the school community.”

Ms Shephard said students and staff had worn their green centenary shirts each Friday and were learning about the school's history and its part in the wider Archdiocese of Brisbane Catholic Education story.

"A number of past pupils have been sharing their stories on our centenary Facebook page, which has been fascinating to read,” she said.

"We have been delighted by tales of riding horses to school and the mischief some students go up to.

"The centenary celebration has certainly been a team effort and I am incredibly grateful to our small, but extremely hard-working team.

"We look forward to welcoming past, present and future students and staff as we commemorate the 100-year story of St Joseph's this weekend.”



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