Newsletter #19 18 December 2023


    Learning Today.                     Leading Tomorrow.

Assembly and Morning Tea on 8 December

Firstly, a heartfelt thank you to the GPA, Staff, Students, and parents for the wonderful farewell assembly morning tea. I am grateful for a professional life well lived with amazing highlights and encounters with so many truly wonderful students, staff, colleagues, and parents and much of my teaching life here at GHPS.

I was presented with wonderful gifts from the community: a Flight Centre travel voucher that I will very much enjoy planning for using somewhere special – very lucky 🙂 Myer and T2 Vouchers and an elegant champagne set which I’ll chill in the fridge and toast you all when I celebrate the official finish date on 26 January 2024.

Thank you to everyone who has dropped in other lovely gifts and said goodbye, it has been very moving. As a staff we celebrated last Friday evening, and I was presented with a lovely sparkly, special bracelet: soooo pretty and just an end to a fabulous day and farewell.

Some of the splendours of the job!

  • Seeing the mural be painted at our school that has typified my approach:  Work hard, dream big. Gratitude is the Attitude – always find that where we can.
  • Finding the silver lining: When the Department announced that our portable ART Room was going to be relocated, it was a traumatic day and the Art teacher and I cried, but it made me determined that when our school was given a grant called Schools Pride funds in 2009, I knew what I was going to try and achieve with $150K: an Art Room that could not be relocated.  Further fuelled my determination to see if there were any other times where I could beat the odds and get more than what DET Facilities reckoned. Work hard. Dream big.
  • With the School Council, we managed to get a master plan up in 2014 and with much determination and perseverance we lobbied and got very lucky. After we were awarded funding Ms Amy Tinetti and I walked and talked our way over every square centimetre of the school to establish a genuine feel for what we wanted to improve and how to create options with flair and always looking at the wow factor that would excite all staff, students and the community. The big dream was fulfilled by the end of 2022, including an outside fresh inviting visual with sweeping views across the playground including new planting, fencing, gates, gardens, rubberized surface under an exciting playground that just represented challenge and fun!
  • So many fabulous new spaces for our superstar students, staff and families with a definite fave being this now named Libby Alessi gymnasium, especially when the upgrading was upgraded to include it! It has been a game changer at our school.
  • FUN FACT: In August 2023, an extract from Parliament debates Hansard Mr Steve Dimopoulos references and thanks GHPS, Libby Alessi, the School Council, Staff, and parents upon the official opening of our school’s new competition grade gym, refurbished library, and admin block.
  • Brief emotional uplifts – I’ve inhaled them like oxygen, taking notice of the uplifting moments in my day which may be seeing the students being friendly, kind, and helpful.
  • Living my dream – I know it’s not a rehearsal.
  • Glimmer seeker as per Sarah Jackson is something I’ve embraced! With each day it can bring with it hundreds of glimmers, more often than not these glimmers are our friendly, happy staff achieving success.
  • The amazing teams I’m in and the way we’ve all supported each other: the SC’s – what an incredible privilege-Supriya as the 6th President, and all the parents and staff who willingly attend to make our school even better. Must mention the wonderful GPA- such a great group!
  • My teams: Leadership PLC Cam, Mel, David, Shannan, the Office team, and our teaching teams – they strive to give our students the best day, every day.
  • The organising team behind my Farewell- I’ve been happily in the dark as they made it happen- thank you so much Laura, Mel, Cam, Liz, Supriya, David, GPA, and parents who donated to the wonderful morning tea.
  • Top marks, team: A great story in the Herald Sun this year and tribute to the energised and enthusiastic teaching and leadership teams here!
  • Being Lucky – we are so lucky to be a member of this school community with our wonderful students and live in our wonderful country.

Always alongside me, my beautiful family, friends and colleagues who are amazing, giving me love and friendship to nurture my soul, make me laugh at myself so that each day I can return to school rejuvenated and ready to learn, spread kindness and support to the many that I’m privileged to meet and talk, lead, plan, be inspired by each day.

Now I am very excited at the prospect of:

  • no more ever ending homework
  • feeling privileged to be finishing my career on a high with such great memories
  • spending more time with my grandchildren, Isla, Vinnie &Harry
  • some wonderful travels and spending time with family.

Community Building Award

Congratulations to Makayla 3C, who has been named this year’s recipient of the 2023 GHPS Community Builder Award. Each year, a student at GHPS receives this prestigious award from Steve Dimopoulos, State Member of Parliament for the Oakleigh district. Makalya has been nominated by staff as she is inclusive of all people and truly embraces diversity.

She helps her teachers wherever she can, celebrates special days with full curiosity and enthusiasm, and supports her friends to achieve their goals.

Congratulations Makayla and we are very proud of you.

Grade 6 Graduation

As we get closer to the final day of the school year on Wednesday 20 December, the students have been able to celebrate in numerous ways. It has been very exciting attending the end of year events, particularly for the Grade 6 Graduation last Wednesday evening where we congratulated them all as they prepare to depart GHPS and head off to Secondary School in 2024.

After 7 years of primary school, with many of them starting at GHPS in the 2017 Prep classes or being welcomed along the way as they commenced other year levels, their final week at GHPS has arrived!

It was highly rewarding to be able to mark this occasion in the Libby Alessi gymnasium with their families; some with siblings, parents, and grandparents.

Thank you and congratulations to the Year 5/6 teaching team: Ms Mikaela King, Mr John Jacobs, and Ms Kamila Krauze for their exceptional work in preparing the students, the planning and orchestration for the night, which was very memorable.

We acknowledged the GHPS class and specialist teachers, who have made an outstanding contribution to each student’s learning over their P-6 journey. We greatly appreciated Mr David Jenkins for setting up the band and the Party Hats playing together, also teaching Music/Japanese and Ms de Bruyn, Ms Kasambalis and Mrs Oldham for being such extraordinary and dedicated specialists in Art, PE, and Science so our students can flourish in these curriculum areas.

Thank you, Lisa, for making our Library so inviting, which I am sure teachers and students have enjoyed enormously when attending their weekly session.

The school is very appreciative of the School Council President, Supriya Arikarevula being able to present the annual speech on behalf of the School Council and community and to congratulate the graduating class of 2023, offer her sentiments to the students, parents, staff, and the school leadership team.

Awards for academic, sporting, specialist classes, and civics & citizenship were proudly presented. Congratulations to all our Grade 6 students on their effort and achievement and we acknowledge that although everyone did not receive an award, they can feel very proud of everything they have accomplished this year.

Award Recipients
John Beddoe Sports Award

Danielle Bell Athletics Award

Swimming Award

Sanjeev Ananth

Elizabeth Yeung

Levi O’Donnell

Art Award Anisha Behl
Wendy Wilson Music Award Bridget Giouris
The Party Hats Award Zoya Faruqui

Riddhi Ranjan

Inclusive Leaders  Aliyah Pagtalunan
STEAM Award Atharva Borse
Japanese Award Shogo Nakamoto

Elka Dench

Literacy Award Lily Natalier

Harshitha Prasanna

Numeracy Award Charvi Manas
Public Speaking Award Max Taylor
Research & Inquiry Award William Thompson

Shresta Pulaparthi

Civics & Citizenship Award Asher White

All Grade 6 students were again acknowledged at the Final Assembly on Friday 15 December.

This is the final week for Mr David Jenkins who is also retiring. Mr Jenkins has been in government education for 35 years and at GHPS since 2013. He has led a broad range of ‘portfolios’ and provided staff and school council with an enormous amount of professional learning, policy review, and support to improve student outcomes at GHPS. It’s hard to summarise 10 years with some of the amount you have achieved:

  • David has been a member of PLC Leadership, Consultative Committee, Curriculum & Policy, Buildings and Grounds, ‘Father’ of our Chooks, Specialists, OHS including Health and Safety Representative, Finance and School Council. A huge contribution!
  • In his role as Leader of Assessment & Reporting he has facilitated timelines and readiness for updating data tables, ICAS, NAPLAN and Semester Student Reporting.
  • In his Curriculum Leader role, he has reviewed the Inquiry Scope and Sequence and provided staff with support to integrate the capabilities into their planning.
  • In addition to teaching grades 4, 5, and 6 at GHPS, he has taught PE and Music/Japanese, bands, and choir. He has offered our students an amazing opportunity to fulfil their musical dreams and ambitions through a variety of performance platforms and stages.
  • Legacy of changing the House names, to Indigenous flora names.
  • He has been an agile, flexible educator, mentor and leader who has enthusiastically and readily taken on responsibilities that have engaged us all.
  • I thank you for your dedication to the Council and for being a member for 10 years. He has been proactive, diligent, and consistent with his cyclic reviews of policy, and overall contribution to support the work of Council. A definite highlight has been to acknowledge his enthusiasm and thorough approach to leading the change of House names at GHPS from Australian Explorers to Indigenous Fauna names. Such a wonderful achievement.
  • Easter Hat Parade, Cabaret, Musical Soiree Concert and Carols: the school has been able to showcase the Music program and our student’s talents along with your own at these Musical events in the wonderful new gymnasium, at Robert Blackwood Hall and on the West Site.
  • You have proudly prepared the students to confidently sing, play and dance with their class, choir or in the band. It has been wonderful to hear about how our students have enjoyed presenting the items as they have taken to the stage.
  • Hearing the bands perform is always a highlight and you have done an amazing job providing so many students a really special opportunity to perform.
  • We are extremely grateful for your dedication to GHPS and know that you can feel so very proud of all you have accomplished and hope you have enjoyed a fabulous end to your career at GHPS.

Teaching in Albury

As announced previously Ms Shannan Fox will be leaving GHPS next year for a year with leave without pay to teach in the independent system in 2024.

She has been teaching at GHPS since 2015 and has been in government education for 8 years. She has been a highly valued member of PLC Leadership Team, leader of the West Site, Literacy, Area leaders in Year 5/6, 3/4 and 1 and taken on mentoring and coaching staff both in her teams and across the school.

Ms Fox has provided the teaching staff with PL in Writing, Reading and Assessment Schedules that has translated into improved outcomes right across the school. She has tried many new roles in a compact timeline and career.

Congratulations and we wish you the best of luck:)

With the return of Ms Piscioneri and Ms Attwood from maternity leave in 2024 we farewell and thank Ms Scarlett Mitcham for teaching Year 2.

Ms Mitcham has been a caring, conscientious, and eager new teacher. She has a very positive approach to teaching which is highly commendable. Ms Mitcham will continue to study and is very keen on Art, Design and Technology and will be able to be a CRT at GHPS next year. We also wish you a wonderful end of term at GHPS. As announced in the last newsletter, Ms Sarah Price will be returning to teach PE for 3 days per week.


School Council is delighted to announce that Fiona Davey will be returning to teach cooking in 2024 once again.

Thank You to Susan from Gourmet Kids who has been teaching for the past few years.

Friday’s Assembly

Thank you to Mrs King and Mr Jacobs for coordinating the whole school assemblies, which has been an event which all staff and students have looked forward to and where we have seen our students hosting and starring as they make presentations and report on the week.

2024 Student Leadership

The 2024 School, House, Sport, eSmart, Wellbeing, Sustainability and Music Captains has been announced by Mr John Jacobs and this year’s Student Leaders have presented them with their badges at the final assembly.

Please see 1 December NL for details about the process. Congratulations to everyone.

Student leadership 2024

School Captains Sahara Jordan and Johan Balaji Rajasaker
Sport Captains Twisha Amin & John Andra
Music Captains Javin Reohn Santos & Rhea Madhu
Technology Captains Aoi Mizuta & James Gilbert
Sustainability Captains Jaini Patel & Ruchika Tarangapdi
Wellbeing Captains Alexa D’Aquino & Ruby Wajnberg
Pike House Captain Mia Karipis
Bael House Captain Shenaya Udage
Kurwan House Captain Benjamin Schmidt
Garrawang House Captain Tengyi Bian

Semester 2 Student Reports

All the teachers have worked incredibly hard to finalise the Semester 2 Student Reports which have gone live in Compass on Thursday 13 December. It is highly rewarding to read about the students’ effort, behaviour, and achievement and to read all about the impact of everyone’s teaching. The dedication of all staff is a standout, and all have worked tirelessly to bring out the very best in every student every day. Thank you to Mr David Jenkins for monitoring and coordinating the Reporting process.

I have been extremely impressed by the students’ improvements and outcomes and in recognition of outstanding academic achievement in Numeracy, Literacy in at least three of the four areas: Measurement & Geometry, Number, Reading & Viewing, or Writing and have presented Principal Awards for students in Years P-6. These awards recognise the students in Grades P-2 who have achieved 6 months or more above expected level and for students in Grades 3-6 who have achieved 12 months or more above expected level.

Much appreciation and thanks to the School Council

It has been a privilege and highly enjoyable to engage with all members of the school council this year. I can’t thank you enough for caring as much as we do about our wonderful school and please know that you have made all our work that much easier and make a huge difference for our students at GHPS.

To outgoing Councillors, Joseph Yeung and Kathryn Dench thank you for your service on Council. As secretary, Kathryn has been a highly supportive and proactive member of our school community with a wonderful energetic effervescent personality at each meeting and across the committees you have served upon. You have provided us with a balanced, supportive and insightful perspective on all occasions.


A very special thank you to Abbi (James, Lewis, and Eden) who has been the President of the GPA in 2023. We are all very grateful for the wonderful contribution you have made and with your friendly and warm manner you have been a huge asset and help to all. Thank you for speaking to our new Prep families at the Parent Information session, as your perspective was fabulous for them to hear.

To all the wonderful members of GPA, it has been an absolute pleasure to have you on the Committee where you have worked so hard to make the events that have provided our students and school community with some fun and fundraising!

There’s plenty of room at the GPA table, so I’m sure the new Principal, Mrs Nerida Burns would love new parents to join as well so please do so next year!

Amazing leaders and teachers at GHPS

A very big thank you to each of the amazing leaders and teachers for the appreciation you have shown me, the warm farewell reflection and tribute at the recent Assembly.

I know I will have a strange feeling when I leave working with you, I’ll miss the things I love about how to plan for the best we can do for staff, students, and families. I’ve really enjoyed collaborating with you and I am forever grateful for how much you have contributed to all that we have juggled and achieved.

Our teachers are very much looking forward to their very well-earned holidays next week. Huge thank you to the Assistant Principal, Mr Cam White who is a remarkable leader to have on my team and it’s been quite a short time but a highly enjoyable and rewarding time.

The office team keeps us all going! What a duo we have in Liz and Laura: it’s a fabulous busy and vibrant space every hour! To all our staff at GHPS, you are a highly dedicated and skilled group of wonderful teachers, Education Support, and admin who I acknowledge as being highly valued and with a positive attitude to make the best of all our situations here on a minute by minute and year by year basis.

I wish everyone the most amazing school break. All the very best to Liana and Georgia in TheirCare for providing our families with such a fun out of hours program- you both do a wonderful job.

I have loved my time at GHPS and each of you has played a huge part in the contributions you have made. I feel very privileged to be able to finish on a high with such great memories. You are awesome people  🙂

Best wishes to everyone whether you’re having a staycation or travelling, and for everyone who is returning, staff will be back on Monday 29 January and students back at school on Tuesday 30 January 2024.

Final reminder: Students will be dismissed at 1.30pm on Wednesday 20 December 2023.

Libby Alessi         Principal

GPA News 

Mrs Alessi Farewell Morning Tea hosted by GPA

An excellent spread for Libby Alessi’s Farewell Morning Tea.

There was plenty of food and plenty of hands for preparation so thank you to all who contributed food and/or time to ensure this was an enjoyable occasion.

Great work Abbi to co-ordinate the GPA contribution to this significant event, and your final contribution as GPA President.

GPA 2023 Summary

Here is the GPA Committee having a well-earned cuppa to finish off the year. If you see them around next week, feel free to thank them for their excellent contributions this year.

GPA committee L to R: Cesar, Fiona, Hayley (Treasurer), Abbi (President), Gayle, Cathy, Sarah. Absent Daniel (Secretary)

A special thanks to Abbi as GPA President, for a year of great leadership, enthusiasm and “keeping all the balls in the air”.

This year the GPA raised just under $18,000 through a range of activities some focussed on fund raising and some primarily for fun and enjoyment.

A brief (but probably incomplete) list of GPAs value-add to GHPS in 2023

–       End of term special lunches – samosa, pizza, pies

–       Weekly icy poles and hot chocolate, cake raffle

–       Fundraising: hot cross buns, mangoes, Bunnings BBQ, Referendum BBQ and mini-market, Easter and Christmas hamper raffles.

–       Events disco, Mother’s Day/Father’s Day stalls, special morning teas

While the Committee is the nucleus of the GPA, the strength of GPA is that there are many ways to contribute and participate and the 100s of volunteer hours contributed either by regular participants or a one-off 1-2 hours that makes all these activities possible.

 Thank you to everyone who has participated or donated to a GPA activity in 2023.

Second hand Uniforms

In 2024, GPA will take over management of the 2nd hand school uniform sales. This is important from affordability and sustainability perspectives. It is not yet fully mapped how this will be managed but please don’t discard your good condition uniforms that have been outgrown, there will be an outlet for them.

GPA 2024

Have you considered participating in GPA events but not sure how to “join” Too easy – if you have a child at GHPS you are qualified to participate in the GPA (Glen Huntly Parents Association). You don’t have to be part of the Committee or even attend meetings to participate. Just register on SignUp for an event of interest.

The GPA Committee welcomes any ideas for fundraising, social events or building GHPS community culture. Drop us an email at

Early next year the GPA will hold a special meeting to explore new ideas for fundraising, participating and communicating. Keep an eye out for details.

Why not add GPA participation to your 2024 New Year Resolutions?

Prep News

Thank you to all of the parents, carers and families that have donated a wide variety of educational resources and games for the 2024 Prep classes. Your continued support within our school community is greatly appreciated.
Prep Team

TheirCare News

Please CLICK HERE to read our end of term report.

GHPS Facebook





Wed 20    Last School Day Early dismissal 1.30pm

Fee payments and Excursion Permissions and Payments.

All Communication notices regarding excursions will be sent through COMPASS.

Permissions are to be given through COMPASS.

Preferred payment method for Fee payments and Excursions is through COMPASS.

This will allow us to always keep all the correct information available to staff whilst on an excursion.

If you have any questions, please contact the office or see Guide below.

CLICK HERE for Parent’s Guide to Compass

Thank you.