02 Apr

Celebrating 20 Years with Angela Doan

In the beginning 

For three years after graduating as a teacher, I had been working in a priority project school in Murray Bridge and looking for a different challenge when I received a call from Roger Taylor, SPW’s first Principal.

I remember feeling nervous, especially as my interview was to be held at his home! At least I was early for the interview and Viv Hand, the Deputy Principal, was late!

When I was offered the job over the phone, I jumped so high I hurt my back. That was more than twenty years ago.

On starting at SPW I was known as Miss Hiern, and I suppose I was one of the “young” teachers.

My first impression of the new school on the grounds of the old Woodlands site were how big and refined the old buildings were and how many grass ovals there were.

Straight away there was a sense of community as the parents and teachers from the original school were involved in helping move furniture and set up classrooms before the start of the first day of the school year.

Staff and student numbers have grown significantly over the years from a beginning of only two streams from Reception to Year 2 and single stream to Year 7.

I have had the opportunity to coach extracurricular sports and teach in a variety of roles, including Year Two, Learning Support, Physical Education and now currently in Year One.

A few fond memories 

Over my many years at SPW I’ve forged many valued friendships and even stumbled onto surprising connections.

For an art project in the early years we worked on a timeline of the Glenelg area from indigenous beginnings to the Buffalo landing and the start of an Anglican parish school, St Peters.

Along this journey, Jenny Richardson, the former librarian and I discovered that we were related by marriage from a descendant of a first settler who arrived on the Buffalo!

A fond memory has always been the Book Week Parade which used to see us walking down Jetty Road and back to school.

One year, Anne Allen, David Kennedy and I painted our faces green and wore garbage bags — I think we were Shreks, although not sure what book it related to.

I am really happy that we have revived this tradition which brings together the whole school community.

SPW is a special place

When Chris Prance came to be our Principal, we were all asked to have a one on one meeting with him as a way to introduce ourselves.

The first thing I said was “This is such a wonderful school and I can’t wait to send my children here.”

That was fifteen years ago. I am very blessed and honoured that I can now send my daughter Amelia to such a wonderful school which offers not only an excellent foundation academically, but also other opportunities.

Thank you to Angela Doan (nee Hiern) for sharing this story.