Nhill College principal Leonie Praetz to retire on Friday

FINAL TERM: Nhill College principal Leonie Praetz with prep students Charlotte Donnell, 5, and Mia Seymour, 5, and grade two student Natalie Hall, 7. Ms Praetz is retiring after a long career in education. Picture: MELINDA SCHMIDT

FINAL TERM: Nhill College principal Leonie Praetz with prep students Charlotte Donnell, 5, and Mia Seymour, 5, and grade two student Natalie Hall, 7. Ms Praetz is retiring after a long career in education. Picture: MELINDA SCHMIDT

NHILL College principal Leonie Praetz will retire at the end of the school term on Friday.

A veteran of education in western Victoria, Ms Praetz said she felt fantastic to be leaving after a long career.

“I feel like I’ve completed a very satisfactory career and achieved a lot of things,” she said.

Ms Praetz started her career as a teacher in Hamilton and subsequently worked in schools at Casterton, Horsham and Hopetoun before taking the job at Nhill in 2010.

She nominated her work in establishing a trade training centre for Hopetoun P-12 College and Rainbow Secondary College as a major achievement.

Ms Praetz was also part of a group which devised a program to video link lessons to students in remote areas.

“I was part of the group of Wimmera principals who developed the Grampians Virtual School and I loved being part of that,” she said. 

“That’s gone on to be a model that other schools and other countries use.”

Ms Praetz said education provided a vital role in making sure disadvantaged students had a better chance in life.

“Welfare is a huge issue for schools now,” she said.

“Students have some dreadful home situations and being able to support them is really important.

“You know that without your help they would not be successful.”

She said the support of her family had been crucial to her achievements in education.

“It’s been really important for me to have the support of my daughters,” Ms Praetz said.

“Without them being positive in the background it would have been very hard.”

An afternoon tea at Nhill College on Tuesday marked Ms Praetz’s retirement.

Dr Joanna Day will be acting principal until the end of the year.

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