Frances Primary School teachers, students and parents have welcomed Joyce Dinan as the newly appointed principal beginning the 2019 school year.
Joyce won the position through the Department of Education’s merit selection process, and was offered a five-year-long contract, to be followed up with an improvement agenda for the school.
Joyce is no stranger to the country and has led schools in rural Australia, from the desert of Roxby Downs to the Victorian high country, from the Yorke Peninsula and Clare Valley to the Riverland.
“Strong communities are the backbone of regional areas and it’s definitely something you notice in schools,” Joyce said.
“I believe community support has an impact on learning because everyone is moving in the same direction for better outcomes for students.
“With the strength of the community behind schools, more possibilities can be offered to students.”
Joyce said Frances had the appeal of open skies, vast plains and broad horizons.
“The environment of Frances itself inspires students to open up and expand their skills and abilities,” she said.
Having previously led schools with as few as 23 students, Joyce is equipped to handle Frances Primary School’s small enrolment of 26 for 2019.
“Our small size is our strength – in the junior class we have 11 children and in the senior class we have 15,” she said.
“We are implementing individual learning plans, which means each student’s learning is targeted and because of our small numbers, we can do that for every student.”
Joyce said she had arrived at Frances Primary School at an exciting time, since the Department of Education was ready to implement a new improvement agenda.
“It’s lovely timing that I’m coming into the school at the beginning of the process – our key goals are literacy and numeracy improvement,” she said.
“Students can set their own goals and teachers will be very explicit about their learning intentions.”
As a lifelong learner, Joyce has completed a Masters Degree in Education, a Masters Degree in Theological Studies and post graduate tertiary qualifications in Special Education, Aboriginal Education, Religious Education and Mediation and Conflict Resolution.
“Every time you study it impacts who you are and what you believe in and feel strongly about,” Joyce said.
“At this moment in time, I feel very strongly about providing inclusive environment for students, so each student feels safe, and can develop and feel excited about new learning.”