The Parkes High School community will welcome its new principal, Mrs Sandra Carter at the start of the 2013 school year.

Mrs Carter will replace Mrs Neryle Smurthwaite who will depart Parkes High at the end of the current school year to take on the role of Principal at Canowindra High.

Lachlan School Education Director, David Lloyd announced details of the appointment.

‘I am looking forward to Parkes High School continuing its important role under Sandra’s leadership,’ he said. ‘I am really confident of the next era at this wonderful school.

‘Sandra has a wide skill level and knowledge, and has strong connections with the Parkes community.

‘She commences on day one, term one next year, and will provide a different approach.’

Mr Lloyd said the interview process took  about five weeks.

‘It was a much sought after position with a wide range of applications,’ he added.

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Currently Mrs Carter is Principal of Tullamore Central School.

However, she is no stranger to Parkes.

As Sandra Parker, she was selected on merit for the position of Deputy Principal at  Parkes High School in 2003 and held that position for the next seven years, also teaching Science.

Teaching was always her number one career choice.

Born in Kyogle, Sandra’s parents continue to own and operate the same dairy and beef farm on which she was raised.

Her primary school years were spent at Wiangaree Primary School after which she attended Kyogle High School where she completed her Higher School Certificate in 1981.

Then it was off to Sydney’s Macquarie University where she successfully completed a Bachelor of Science and Diploma of Education.

In 1986, Sandra took on her first teaching role as a science teacher at Canterbury Boys’ High – a position she held until transferring to Concord High for the start of the 1994 school year.

While at Canterbury Boys High, Sandra commenced a Masters degree which she successfully completed at the University of NSW in 1992.

Then in 1997, it was off to Lurnea High School in the south-west of Sydney where she was promoted to Head Teacher of the Science Faculty – a position she retained until accepting the Deputy Principal position at Parkes High in 2003.

“Having grown up in the country, the move to Parkes was really like a home-coming for me,” Sandra said.

“I just love the country way of life where unlike Sydney you get to talk to your neighbours, share a cuppa or walk down the main street smiling and saying hello to almost every second person who walks by.”

Parkes holds special memories for Sandra,

During her time at Parkes High, she met husband-to-be Tony Carter.

“We met on Anzac Day in 2007 when Tony was teaching in Forbes – the rest is history really,” she said.

Tony now teaches History, Geography, Legal and Business Studies at Parkes High School where he is also the Year 7 Advisor.

Mrs Carter successfully applied for the position of Principal at Tullamore Central School and commenced work there in 2010.

For the past two years she has commuted daily from Parkes.

“Tullamore Central is a wonderful, creative school. 

“The past three years will always remain with me as among the most fulfilling of my career,” Sandra said.

“It may be a small school but it doesn’t stop students achieving outstanding results in a broad range of subjects through the Western Access Program.

“This program also allows students to live at home and complete their HSC in the environment that they have grown up in.”

While there is a degree of sadness in leaving the small central school, Sandra is very excited to be heading back to Parkes High as Principal.

“I look forward to my role of leading a team in what is already a very successful school,” she said.

“In particular, I will focus on creating within the school a culture of continued development and growth for students and teachers alike.

“I want our school to be one where teachers are respected, teach well and students can learn and ultimately be proud to say they achieved at Parkes High.

“Finally, I would like to wish Neryle Smurthwaite all the very best as she prepares to leave Parkes to take on her new position as Principal of Canowindra High School.”

Mrs Sandra Carter - appointed Principal of Parkes High School.

Mrs Sandra Carter - appointed Principal of Parkes High School.