New school leaders at Ararat West

New Assistant Principal Josh McDougall and Principal Terry Keilar at Ararat West

New Assistant Principal Josh McDougall and Principal Terry Keilar at Ararat West

ARARAT - Ararat West Primary School has made a successful start to the year with Terry Keilar and Josh McDougall relishing their new roles as principal and assistant principal respectively.

The pair have both taught at the school for several years, occupying leadership roles including acting principal and assistant principal on a regular basis.

"We bring a wealth of understanding, knowledge and experience to the roles and our appointments provide the school community with consistency and stability, we both live in the town and have made our homes here," Mr Keilar said.

"We are committed to the long term future of the school."

The duo is committed to ensuring present programs at the school continue to operate and have highlighted the reporting process, speech and language program and Self-Directed Learning as key initiatives.

"We believe constant communication through our formalised individual reports provide parents with up to date information on their child's progress and Self-Directed Learning, which gives students the skills, tools, resources and personal attributes to develop a project or idea they may have, are important," Mr Keilar said.

"Self-Directed Learning is an education model that is only in its infancy at the school, so that is an area we are pretty eager to develop further," Mr McDougall said.

"The program is aimed at engaging and involving students in their learning, giving them the skills to discuss their learning, where they want to get to and how they will get there.

"We are seeing great benefits in the SDL Program including increased student engagement, passion and aspiration."

Mr Keilar took on the role of school principal towards the end of 2013 and was grateful for the appointment.

"I've lived in the area all my life and found this a good opportunity for me to be involved with and give back to not only the school but the broader community," he said.

"It is also about how we work with other schools and represent a school which already has a strong academic history, a well-built reputation and passionate and skilled teachers.

"We want to promote not just high aspirations but ensure students develop and learn in a safe and friendly environment."

Ararat West Primary School's enrolment is 235 and facilitates education for students in grades prep to six, catering for all learning needs and types.

Mr McDougall commenced his role as assistant principal in term one with a prerequisite of a variety of leadership positions.

"I coached my local senior football club to a grand final, and like Terry now want to give something back to the community by way of my career," he said.

"As the father of two young boys I want to be at a school that develops our children and gives them the best opportunities possible to further their learning."

The two are proud and honoured to have been offered the positions and have praised the efforts of students, parents and staff who have helped make it a smooth transition.

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