• Jack Ward

College appoints first female principal

Published in The Ararat Advocate, Ararat's weekly newspaper published by West Vic News Pty Ltd.


Ararat College has appointed its first substantive female principal, announcing that Ellie McDougall will lead the school after Geoff Sawyer retired in April.

PHOTO: Ellie McDougall (Jack Ward/Ararat Advocate)

School Council President David Sanders said the school is very excited to not only appoint the first female principal but to have a trusted face within the community at the reigns.


“It’s very important to have good leadership because it’s passed onto the students. Students have to be empowered to study,” he said.


“As school council president, I’m very confident that Ellie is steering the school in the right direction. She asks questions and challenges people to ensure she achieves the best for our students.”


Mrs McDougall has been a part of the school community for many years, beginning her teaching career in 2009 straight out of university. Since then, she has also gained experience working for the Department of Education in Horsham.


“I do love this school and I have a deep passion to have a positive impact on all the students and the staff that are here. I couldn't be prouder when people ask me what I do and where I work,” she said.


The principal position isn’t new for Mrs McDougall. She has been in the role of acting principal since Mr Sawyer began his long service leave in March of last year.


“Coming back into a school and working with students again, I forgot how much I missed that after being in an area office,” she said.


“I have a real sense of privilege that the School Council and the Department of Education are entrusting me to continue to lead the school.”


Mrs McDougall said that her focus will continue to be on the students of Ararat College and their individual pathways to exceed their potential in an area of their choice.


“It's about student learning growth and it's about our mission- it's about us doing everything we can as a school community to ensure that our students leave here empowered to use their voice, but also to exceed their potential,” she said.


The announcement has been met with overwhelming positivity from the school community.

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