What elite school told parents about principal

THE chair of the St Hilda's school council has sent a letter to parents urging them to respect the privacy of former principal Dr Julie Wilson Reynolds, talk and act respectfully, and refrain from airing petty grievances in public.

The statement follows claims by parents that politics and resistance to change by the school's "old guard" was behind Dr Wilson Reynolds' sudden departure this week. Others say it stemmed from a pushback against a bid to introduce shorts as part of the uniform.

Professor Susan Brandis wrote to the parents of 1100 students yesterday afternoon to reiterate the sudden resignations of Dr Wilson Reynolds and junior head Tracy Maynard were purely coincidence.

Business continued as usual at the school.
Business continued as usual at the school.

Prof Brandis shed no further light on the haste of Dr Wilson Reynolds' departure on Monday, but did announce a farewell event would be planned in the future.

Prof Brandis also clarified that the former principal was not a "GoldCoaster" and a "self-confessed introvert".

"I am aware that there will be mixed feelings regarding the news of Julie's resignation and it is time for me to reach out and respond to some of the questions posed, and the wild and inaccurate media speculation," Prof Brandis wrote.

Dr Julie Wilson Reynolds.
Dr Julie Wilson Reynolds.

"In my time on the St Hilda's School Council, I have worked with four Principals, each different and unique in their backgrounds and leadership styles. They all came from somewhere else and were not initially 'GoldCoasters'."

Prof Brandis said a change of principal was not unusual given the average tenure nationally in a job is 3.3 years, and upper echelons of management were particularly mobile.

"Both Mrs Tracey Maynard and Dr Julie Wilson Reynolds are no different. As independent, educated women, Tracey and Julie exercised these rights."

The chairwoman said she also respected the individual's right to privacy and confidentiality.

"I understand that the sudden departure of Julie has left some of you stunned. Julie was a self-confessed introvert, so please respect her privacy."

 

Dr Wilson Reynolds had only been at the school for a few years. Picture: Jerad Williams
Dr Wilson Reynolds had only been at the school for a few years. Picture: Jerad Williams

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She said there were no immediate plans for the school to recruit a new principal.

"While this might seem like a caretaker situation, I am empowering you as valuable members of our community to step up, work together and help shape the future.

"While we have strong traditions to maintain, we must also use this situation as a catalyst for improvement.

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"I urge you to come together as a School community, to talk and act respectfully to each other. It doesn't do the school community - most notably, our wonderful student body - any good for petty grievances to be aired in public.

"I also ask you to respect Julie's privacy, and her choice to leave in this way."

Wendy Lauman has been appointed the school's acting principal.



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