New Principals in the West15 February, 2022
Excited prep students were not the only ones with big smiles on the first day of the school year at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School in Springsure last week, first-time Principal, Selena Cutting, was also very happy to be fulfilling a career goal welcoming families in her newly appointed leadership position.
Mrs Cutting is one of three Principals, new to the role, who will be leading Catholic primary schools in the central and far west of the diocese this year. “Ever since I started my teaching career, I had hoped to one day lead the school community as Principal. I’m very grateful and very excited to have the privilege of being Principal of this wonderful school,” Mrs Cutting said. “The community of Springsure has an extremely positive reputation of being welcoming, community-minded and passionate. These attributes made it a very easy decision to apply for the position here.”
Born and bred in Central Queensland, Mrs Cutting said it was always an aspiration to return to teach in the local CQ area after working in a variety of rural, regional and remote centres including Mackay, Emerald, Longreach and Katherine (Northern Territory).
“I thoroughly love teaching and have also very much enjoyed my role as Assistant Principal Curriculum for the past six years. I think my experience working in a variety of school settings and roles will be of great benefit in my position as Principal,” Mrs Cutting said. Mrs Cutting conveyed her thanks and gratitude to the OLSH school community and wider Springsure community.
“The outgoing principal, Mr Peter Smith, fostered a real sense of family here at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and it has been a pleasure to feel so welcomed at the school. I feel blessed to lead one of our Rockhampton Catholic Education schools in the West. I believe our schools in the Western areas of Queensland operate in communities with a strong sense of inclusion and connectedness,” Mrs Cutting said.
Meanwhile, newly appointed Principal of Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School in Longreach, Peter Thurecht, was filled with nostalgia as he entered the gates of the school last week. “I was born and raised in Longreach before setting off to attend university in Rockhampton. Our Lady’s is a place where my siblings and I experienced many happy memories,” Mr Thurecht said.
Employed as a teacher in the diocese for the past 13 years, Mr Thurecht has spent the last nine years at St Paul’s Catholic Primary School in Gracemere where he also held the role of Assistant Principal Curriculum.
“I look forward to building upon four main pillars, Community, Excellence, Opportunity, and Faith-Life in my time here at Our Lady’s,” Mr Thurecht said. “All of us are very excited that the year is underway and learning has commenced. I’m looking forward to a great year.”
Also new to the role of Principal this year is Trent Shillington, who will be leading the school community at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Barcaldine. Self-confessed sporting fan, Mr Shillington relocated from Rockhampton with his wife, Sarah, who will also be on staff as Assistant Principal and Year 4/5 teacher.
“We have both enjoyed immensely the hospitality of this wonderful community since moving out here early in January,” Mr Shillington said. “Since the beginning of my career, I have aspired to lead a school as Principal and now it has happened. I am very excited about this role and am looking forward to working with everyone in the Barcaldine Community,” Mr Shillington said.
“I have a passion for providing opportunities for students to showcase their unique gifts and will be endeavouring to create these opportunities for the students of St Joseph’s, Barcaldine. I am looking forward to the year ahead and appreciate all the support from the wonderful community of Barcaldine,” Mr Shillington said.