From implementing the schools award winning Rainbow Garden, to her dedication and commitment to providing mentoring and leadership opportunities for students, it should come as no surprise that Baler Primary School’s Kerry Orr has grown into one of Hedland’s most loved Local Leaders.
As Deputy Principal, Kerry goes out of her way to support not only our student leaders but all students in the school. Joking that the nomination would likely get her into trouble given Kerry’s humble nature, Kerry was bravely nominated by Baler Primary Principal Karen Burgess for her ongoing commitment to the school and their students. “She’s just incredible” Karen said. “She is incredibly energetic and motivated and is always looking for new ways to encourage our young people and bring others along for the journey.”
Kerry, in partnership with Mr Anthony Holmann, the school gardener, was one of the key drivers behind the schools Rainbow Garden, which won the accolade of best school garden in the Care for Hedland awards in 2020. Working with their school councillor group, Kerry understood that the older students wanted to leave a lasting legacy to the school. She worked closely with them to encourage and fostered their ideas which led to the development of the Rainbow Garden. Kerry worked closely with Mr Anthony Holmann, the school gardener, and the students to make a beautiful place that the whole of the school can enjoy.
“Not only are the councillors incredibly proud of the gift they’ve left behind, but with Kerry’s help and support, we’ve been able to create something incredible that supports so many of our students” Karen said. Produce grown in the garden is used at the school canteen, students use it as an enterprise program collecting seeds and marketing produce to staff and the school community for donations. Kerry makes sure that all garden activities are tied to the curriculum so that it also becomes a learning space and it also doubles as a relaxing and safe well-being space for students to come when they just need some time to chill out.
Kerry was also instrumental in ensuring not only students, but staff were supported over the last few months throughout the challenges of this COVID-19 health pandemic. With her previous experience working at School of the Air, Kerry was the primary driver in assisting staff and supporting teachers to use different technologies and approaches as they delivered their classes in ways very different from their usual methods. “Kerry bought a real sense of calm to the school all throughout those hard months when schools were ‘re-inventing’ education, and we were so lucky to have someone with her background to keep things flowing smoothly and demonstrating how learning from home and in an online world could work at Baler” Karen said.
Kerry is an uplifter. She inspires and encourages in everything she does. It’s in the little things like developing a student mentorship program where student leaders excitedly don high vis vests and roam the playground looking out for and helping other students, to her passion for health and fitness or her love of painting and taking in the beauty of the coast on her regular walks. Kerry is not only an asset to Baler Primary School, but to the entire Hedland community. Thanks, Kerry, for all that you do!
If you know someone who is worth celebrating, maybe it’s a young person who displays excellent leadership, a colleague, friend, grandparent or sports coach, nominate them today. All it takes is a few moments to help us celebrate the amazing people shaping our community.