Meet Parke PS's new principal
IT MAY be just five kilometres from Maryborough but Parke State School is “essentially a country school with country values,” according to new principal Len Fehlhaber.
After many years of working in schools with hundreds of students, coming to Parke State School last year was a huge change for Mr Fehlhaber.
“This is the best school I’ve ever seen; the students and the parents are just awesome,” he said.
“The community really love the school and the school is a focal point for the community.
“At our Christmas concert last year we had an audience of about 250 and it really amazed me that we could get a crowd like that from 60-something students.
“It’s difficult for some schools to get that sort of spirit.”
Mr Fehlhaber was deputy principal at Torquay State School before taking up the teaching principal role at Parke.
“I’d previously applied for the principal position and was beaten to it, so when the position came up again I jumped at the opportunity,” he said.
“To come into a school of 60 to 70 students was a huge change.
“It was a change of thinking.
“In a big school, knowing the community is important but in a small school it’s everything.”
Being a small school, all three classes are composite.
“There are different pressures that come with that.”
“You have to look at different sets of curriculum and you have to be a lot more organised in your thinking and planning and how you set up the classroom and routines.”
Mr Fehlhaber teaches the year 5/6/7 class four days a week and has a relief teacher come in on Wednesday so he can concentrate on principal business.
He describes Parke’s teachers as “gems”.
“I’m on a steep learning curve but I’ve got good people around to help me.
“If you don’t have good quality teachers you’re not going to get good quality results.
“For me this job is all about teaching and learning and having our students ready for high school.
“Our parent survey last year showed that parents want their kids ready for high school – literate, numerate and ready to work in a 21st Century environment.”