Valkyrie State School
She is the principal who transformed and re-energised a school.
Kirsten Clements started as teaching principal at Valkyrie State School, about 150km southwest of Mackay, in Semester 2 in 2013 when it was facing an uncertain future.
Brendan Smith, Assistant Regional Director for the Department of Education and Training in Central Queensland, says the school was in a state of flux and uncertainty and “thus a serious dilemma for this rural and isolated community”.
“Kirsten accepted the challenge and has since inspired and led the positive transformation of the school in a number of key areas,” Brendan says.
“Her focussed efforts toward school improvement have significantly impacted on the positive growth of results in regard to student attendance, academic achievement, community partnerships and the positive learning culture of the school.”
When Kirsten started at Valkyrie State School (VSS) only 36.8 per cent of students were attending school 90 per cent of the time.
One year later that percentage had jumped to 90 per cent of students attending 90 per cent of the time or more.
As part of involving parents as collaborative learning partners, Kirsten initiated & trialled specific learning goals for each child to target improvements in reading, writing, spelling and mathematics, along with strategies for use at home to help students achieve these goals.
Kirsten, who teaches Prep to Year 6 students, constantly puts the needs of her school community before her own, including regularly missing administration days so she can support teaching staff and students in the classroom.
Kirsten has implemented a number of community events such as tennis nights, which has seen the school once again become an active hub for the Valkyrie area residents.
The teaching principal has been nominated for a Queensland College of Teachers Excellent Leadership in Teaching and Learning Award.
Congratulations Kirsten on your nomination.