When the opportunity arose, to take on the role of 2018 principal at Budawang Public School, special educator, Karen Furniss, was quick to make her interest known.
The former assistant principal at Nowra’s Havenlee School says she’s been teaching for, “too many years to count” and, that the time is ripe to share what she’s learned along the way.
“I’ve had a connection with Budawang for many years … (and) I’ve been made to feel so very, very welcome,” Ms Furniss said.
“In special education opportunities to advance your career are few and far between. The fact that this job came up, and that it didn’t involve relocating, was too good to pass up.”
The Basin-based teacher said: “I've been doing what I’ve been doing for a long time now and I really wanted the opportunity to share what I’ve learnt along the way. I really feel like I’ve got a lot to offer and am excited to work with a new team.”
When asked what her first impressions of Budawang were, Ms Furniss said: “The closeness of that relationship between the school and community really stands out to me.”
Working with such an “open and welcoming community” will be a new experience for Ms Furniss. In her former role, 90 percent of the students were transported daily, from outside areas.
“The connections with community really stands out to me. How closely the community follows what happens at Budawang, and the effort that the school goes to, to put the kids out in the community, front and centre,” Ms Furniss said.
“(It) really stands out to me, coming from a bigger centre. Not many of our kids lived locally so it’s very different being in a school where the community and the school are so tightly linked.”