Our School Board Members
The role of a School Council (Board) is outlined in the School Education Act 1999. A School Board is involved in the governance of the school – it takes part in the shaping and monitoring of the schools objectives, priorities and general policy direction. In doing so, the Board supports the school in increasing effective autonomy and flexibility and enables the parents and members of the community to engage in activities that are in the best interests of students. This in turn will enhance the education provided by the school.
The role of the School Board is not about running the school, which includes day-to-day administration, supervision, control of the school and its staff. That is the job of the Principal.
Members bring to the Board a variety of skills that provide additional expertise and input to the school’s operations. Upon joining the Hyden Primary School Board, members need to accept the Terms of Reference and Code of Conduct.
Hyden Primary School Board currently consists of eight members (please see information below):
Principal – Kerrianne Mills
Parent representatives – Stephanie Whitwell and Steve Jones
Community representatives – Brett Smith (Chair), Cheryl James and Donna Lane
Staff representatives – Melinda Ditchburn and Lorina Mulcahy (Secretary)
Kerrianne Mills – Principal
I have lived and worked in country towns and communities for the past 30 years and have a clear understanding of the challenges and benefits that living rurally offers. I have two daughters who completed most of their schooling in country towns, predominantly in Boddington before my eldest boarded at Presbyterian Ladies College for high school and my youngest finalising Year 11 & 12 at Narrogin Agricultural College.
Having spent most of my career working in the Wheatbelt Region I believe I have a solid understanding of the educational opportunities and resources available to students schooling and their education.
I have always volunteered my services and time into my community of Boddington, enlisting for such roles as Ambulance Officer, Sports Trainer and on various committees. I truly believe that it is only through volunteers and support a community thrives.
I look forward to working with the School Board and Hyden community.
Brett Smith – Community Member and Chair
I grew up in the northwest of WA and did my schooling by way of School of the Air and then attended Scotch College. The majority of my life has been spent managing sheep and cattle stations.
I am fully aware of the importance of volunteering for the betterment of the communities in which I live. Volunteers are the life blood of small communities. I have served as a Shire Councillor in Carnarvon and have also been a chairman of various other organisations.
I became involved with the Hyden Primary School not long after moving from Carnarvon to Hyden at the end of March in 2019 and now have 5 grandchildren attending the school.
Donna Lane – Community Member
I have lived in Hyden for the past 33 years. I am married to Michael and together we run the family Wheat and Sheep Farm. We have 3 adult children. My Father in law, Husband and our 3 children all attended Hyden Primary School (3 generations through the same school).
I became involved with education when my children started attending day care in Hyden. I have held various voluntary roles in different community groups throughout my time in Hyden while my children were growing up. These included Secretary of the Hyden Day Care Centre and President of the Hyden P & C and as such, I feel that I am aware of the difficulties our educators face day to day in delivering a fair and balanced education in a small community.
I feel privileged to be able to work alongside some fabulous board members whom are just as passionate as me when it comes to education and supporting those who deliver it.
A quality education is important and the only way to get it is with the support of the parents and the wider community working together.
Cheryl James – Community Member
My name is Cheryl James and my husband Chris and I farm a mixed farming enterprise in Hyden. We have 2 sons who completed their primary education at Hyden Primary School before boarding and attending Wesley College in Perth. One son has gone on to continue his education at UWA and the other currently an apprentice and attending South Metropolitan TAFE. I feel this has given me a well-rounded insight into the various educational opportunities available and an understanding of how important a good education is right from the early years. I have always maintained an interest in helping children receive quality education and have been a committee member of several education-based bodies. I have been an executive committee member of the Hyden Occasional Day Care, Hyden ICPA, a member of the Hyden Primary School Council and a parent representative at Wesley College. I served as a board member of the Vi Barham Board of Trustees for a number of years and was a judge on the selection board interviewing finalists for the Vi Barham Award for Excellence – a prestigious award recognizing academic and sporting excellence in our education district.
I am passionate about being part of the Hyden Primary School Board working with teachers, parents and the community to help build an environment that inspires children to learn and to be their best. I look forward to assisting the school by making sure we are transparent, accountable and are achieving our outcomes and upholding our values.
Stephanie Whitwell – Parent
My initial experience with Hyden Primary School was in 2019 when I took my eldest child to her first day of Kindy. The kindness of the kids and the professionalism of the staff made a big difference for me and I am grateful for the opportunity to join the School Board. I attended a similar little primary school at Mount Walker and have a lot of fond memories from my time there. I went on to secondary school and university in Perth. This opened up a lot of travel and work opportunities both in Australia and overseas. In 2010 I moved to Hyden. I work part time as a Child Health Nurse and I am involved in Morrell Valley Farms with my husband, his brother and wife. I am aware of the barriers our country kids face, but I believe school education and support from the community play an integral role in enabling them to live more fulfilled and connected lives.
Steven Jones – Parent
My name is Steven Jones and I am a parent representative of the Hyden Primary School Board.
I have been married to Victoria for 12 years and have two children, Daniel and Gabriella who attend Hyden Primary School.
I have always been involved in the local community, through business, sport and local fire service and have been a Councillor for the Shire of Kondinin for seven years.
Lorina Mulcahy – Staff
I am a senior teacher with 25 years of teaching experience in primary schools, and have been a teacher at Hyden Primary School since 1998, with a few years off when my three girls were little. I have experience across all year levels of the school, and have also taught Japanese, Music, Health and extension programs.
As a member of the School Board, I aim to support the school in providing our learners with an engaging, exciting and challenging education.
Melinda Ditchburn – Staff
I grew up in Hyden, attending Hyden Primary School and then completed my secondary school at Perth College.
After various different jobs, I returned to Hyden with my husband and we are now farming in our family farming enterprise.
Our three children attended Hyden Primary School and five years secondary schooling in Perth. I have been employed by the Department of Education since 1990, first working at Karlgarin Primary School and then moving to Hyden in 2006.
I support the school’s vision to foster an inclusive, safe and secure learning environment where our students are empowered to become lifelong, co-operative and inquisitive learners. I look forward to working with the School Board and the School Community.
Two meetings are held each term and occasionally extra meetings may be called if necessary.
Once meeting minutes are accepted, they are available to view on the website. Additionally, copies are available from the school office.