New challenge for principal

KALIANNA Special School principal Peter Bush has been elected as president of the Principal’s Association of Special Schools in Victoria.

Peter Bush elected president of PASS

Mr Bush has been principal of Kalianna for 13 months and said he was very happy to take on the role.

He was nominated for the position prior to PASS's annual general meeting.

"I'm very excited. I've been a member for the past 11 years and on the executtive committee for the past eight years," he said.

"The main job as PASS president is to promote special education and show people there is a choice of where you can send kids who have additional needs.

"It's about helping people make an informed choice and showing the difference between special and mainstream schools.

I'm very passionate about special school education and PASS represents 84 special schools in Victoria. - Peter Bush

"I'm very passionate about special school education and PASS represents 84 special schools in Victoria."

PASSION: Kalianna principal Peter Bush with this year's school captains Jarrod Stephens and Charmaine Haylock, front, and vice captains Travis Bryan and Jenifer Mustard, back. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

PASSION: Kalianna principal Peter Bush with this year's school captains Jarrod Stephens and Charmaine Haylock, front, and vice captains Travis Bryan and Jenifer Mustard, back. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

Mr Bush said it was important that special needs students were not forgotten.

"The departments of education, both federal and state, often forget about special education," he said.

"I want to promote and see that (special education schools) are added in when new policies and initiatives come out instead of being bolted on as an afterthought.

"The state government has made good inroads in the last few years."

Mr Bush said as president of PASS he will take part in consulative committees to look at new government policies and initiatives.

"Too many times have students with special needs been thought of as not being able to succeed," he said.

"I have always liked supporting the underdog and being a champion of students believing they can achieve success. A lot of  schools across the state include students with a disability and support them in gaining emploment and making a difference in society."

Before becoming a teacher, Mr Bush worked in business and sales.

He said he had a variety of jobs before becoming a mature-age graduate and turning to teaching 22 years ago.

Mr Bush has recently been pushing for redevelopments to start on Kalianna and has great support from parents and the community.

"We have been really excited and suprised by the amount of support," he said.

"The parents have used their own initiative and have been doorknocking. They have more than 2500 signatures on the petition."

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