Heathdale flower 13th October 2022

Celebrating Our Primary Staff Members

We couldn't do what we do without our wonderful Primary staff members, especially Mr Daniel Lee (Deputy Principal of Primary), Ms Cathy Ward (HOLM K-2) and Mr Joe Haworth (HOLM 3-6). Each of them has shared a glimpse of their education journeys and faith lives with us!

Heathdale flower

Spring is here, the sun is getting a bit warmer and those magpies are swooping, so we must have arrived at Term 4! While you have all probably gotten to know your homeroom teachers and specialists behind the scenes, there are three hard working souls who support me and all of us enormously daily.

With this in mind, and possible transition into another Module, I thought it would be nice to get to know our Primary staff leaders a little better.

Mr Daniel Lee – Deputy Principal

Hi there! My name is Mr Lee and I started at Heathdale in 2021. I’m married to my beautiful wife, Mrs Lee (who is also on staff at the College) and have two amazing kids, Zara and Josiah.

I grew up in a Christian home and made a decision to follow Jesus when I was 14. I’m so grateful for God’s grace and am continually amazed that He has a plan and purpose for my life.

I work in Education because I love seeing people grow! In my role at Heathdale, I get to play a part in making that happen for both our staff and students – it’s an incredible privilege! My goal for this term is for our Primary School to run smoothly in all aspects of our day-to-day operations and to support our staff well, so students can develop their God-given potential.

Fun fact: a fruit I love to eat is banned in many places in the world - Durian!

Ms Cathy Ward – HOLM K-2

As a young adult, I decided to commit my life to following Jesus. I was drawn in by His amazing love and His desire to heal and restore broken people. As a teacher, I had lots of compassion for the children I taught and for the plight of children around the world; a child in need always pulled at my heart strings.

Not long after getting married, we started to foster children and later adopted a child. Some of the needs of children in our care were quite complex and we had to rely on God’s strength and His community to be the parents they needed. Seeing them all thriving as adults today makes all the struggles worth it.

This rich experience has helped me relate to the many challenges facing parents within our school community. My role as both teacher and Head of Learning Module K-2 has given me many opportunities to sit with parents and help them find solutions or just offer an encouraging word. The privilege of being able to make a difference in the lives of families is something I cherish and motivates me to come to school each day.

Having been in education for well over 30 years I am often asked if I still enjoy my job and the answer is an emphatic yes. I admit, I do work with the cutest children in the school, and their smiling faces are a continual source of joy. I might never be a true celebrity, but the children sure make me feel like one when I walk through the playground or into their classroom. Who wouldn’t want that?

This term the students will be consolidating their learning and showing how far they have progressed throughout the year. They will be rewarded with fun excursions, sports and activity days, the Spring Fair and the opportunity to showcase their talents at our end of year Celebration Night. After being limited to online events over the past couple of years, we are so looking forward to hosting these live events and having our families present.

Mr Joe Haworth - HOLM 3-6

It is exciting to be approaching my 11th year working at Heathdale, and the time has flown! When I started teaching here, I was teaching Year 6, which I did for several years before leading the Year 5 team and then the 3-6 Module. I am originally from NZ and before moving to Melbourne I taught for a year in South Korea which was a great experience and discovery of what is now my favourite cuisine.

My love for Christ can be reasoned through the verse of John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” This verse also sums up why I love Christian education; on an intellectual, emotional and relational level, all truth is found in God and revealed in God’s word. As educators, we help unpack and make sense of the things around us, both abstract and concrete, to equip students to navigate their lives and decisions; this revelation is only complete, enriched and fully understood with the truth contained in the Bible.

I love working at Heathdale because of the value that is placed on each student. They are not seen as commodities to be shaped to support economies or market forces, but rather as individuals created by God and imbued with unquestionable value. Our mission is to partner with parents and educate each child both academically and socially to reach their God given potential to glorify God. It is a beautiful mission and a beloved community of which to be a part.

In Term 4, it will be wonderful to see the learning growth of our students through a variety of learning expos and end of year events. Students will be completing the fantastic work they have done this year and will have opportunity to showcase their learning as well as demonstrate their unique talents. It is also exciting to look at the special events this term, in particular the Spring Fair and Celebration Nights as a way for our community to connect after such an eventful year.