New principal appointed at Gippsland Grammar

LEISA Harper has been appointed the next principal of Gippsland Grammar.

The appointment comes following the announcement late last year that current principal David Baker has accepted the position of principal at Woodleigh School on the Mornington Peninsula from the beginning of term two.

Mrs Harper will be the first female principal of Gippsland Grammar since it was constituted in 1959, before amalgamation of the girls' and boys' schools in 1971.

She will move to Gippsland from Rockhampton in Queensland, where she is currently in a consultant role at Rockhampton Grammar School.

Mrs Harper was previously principal at Fraser Coast Anglican College, and held executive roles at St Paul's School and Brisbane Grammar School.

She has worked extensively with the Harvard School of Education, and currently serves as a director on the Independent Schools Queensland Board and Queensland Independent Schools Network.

In addition to her teaching qualifications, she holds a Masters of Business Administration and a Masters of Educational Studies in Adolescent Psychology.

Mrs Harper said she was excited and humbled to be the next principal of Gippsland Grammar.

"The school has a rich history that has been built on strong foundations, and I am looking forward to being a part of that," she said.

"My family and I are very much looking forward to moving to Sale, and I look forward to meeting and working with the staff, the students and their families.

"The community spirit was evident when I visited Sale, and my family enjoys living in regional areas.

"I am already looking forward to my first day, so I can meet the Gippsland Grammar staff and students."

Gippsland Grammar board chair Vicki McLeod said during the past seven years, Mr Baker had made a lasting impression at Gippsland Grammar, and he would be greatly missed by the school community.

"David's inspirational leadership and commitment to the future direction of Gippsland Grammar will be remembered as a hallmark of his time as principal," Mrs McLeod said.

"Likewise, I am looking forward to welcoming Leisa and her family to the Gippsland Grammar community."

Mrs Harper and her husband Graham have three children, Georgia, aged 18, and twins Phoebe and Rhys, 15.

Phoebe and Rhys will transfer to Gippsland Grammar for the beginning of the 2020 school year.

Mrs McLeod said Mrs Harper was a deeply committed educator whose passion for young people was evident in all she did.

"She believes that every child has the right to an inclusive and equitable education that promotes and provides life-long learning opportunities, and she is committed to academic excellence and strong pastoral care and co-curricular programs."

To ensure a smooth transition, Mrs Harper will liaise closely with Mr Baker during term one this year, and will begin as principal of Gippsland Grammar from the beginning of term two.