Familiar face to lead new school

FRIENDLY: Edward John Eyre High School Principal Tricia Richman is excited to take on her new role.

FRIENDLY: Edward John Eyre High School Principal Tricia Richman is excited to take on her new role.

A new school, but a familiar face.

Former Principal of Edward John Eyre High School (EJEHS) and Whyalla High School, Tricia Richman will be stepping up as the Principal of the new Whyalla 7-12 Secondary School.

Ms Richman replaced Tim Kloeden as EJEHS Principal in January this year, but will be moving on to the new role within a week and will be replaced by well-known leader David Marino.

"I'm so excited, honoured and privileged to be given this once in a lifetime career opportunity," she said.

Being passionate about the future of education in Whyalla, Ms Richman believes it's important that the new school be led by someone local.

"I have very strong connections to Whyalla, I have strong connections to the community and I believe the children of Whyalla deserve to have a state-of-the-art facility," Trish said.

"This has always been a dream for me, I'm fortunate that it is now a reality."

The transition from three separate high schools, with Whyalla High and Stuart High being middle schools and EJEHS being a senior school, to one Year 7-12 school will be beneficial for student education.

Ms Richman believes the new model is a 'massive positive' for local students.

"Whyalla is unique at the moment in that we have an additional transition point, when you add that transition point it can put some roadblocks up for students," she said.

"By being able to go to the same school from Year 7 right through to Year 12 has so many positive aspects for students - their education, relationships with staff, educational opportunities, it is all positive."

The announcement of the new high school in early 2017 prompted concerns from parents about a potential rise in the prevalence and severity of bullying, with students having no way to escape without turning to alternative education.

Ms Richman noted bullying as one of the issues to consider in her role, but didn't regard it as a significant challenge.

"Even though it will be one large school, the school will have different sub-sections, so I don't believe it's going to pose the problems many parents are thinking it will," she said.

"It's my job to ensure it doesn't."

Programs from all three of Whyalla's current high schools will be carried over to the new school, including the specialised VET programs from EJEHS.

Education Minister John Gardner said Ms Richman brought 'exceptional qualities' to the role.

"She's got experience as the Principal at Edward John Eyre High School. She's previously been the Principal at Whyalla High School and is well known in the community."

"Her connection with the local community will help ensure a smooth transition of the existing high schools into the new school, which will create something unique and fantastic for the city," he said.

The $100 million Whyalla Secondary School, designed by Cox Architecture, is set to open in Term 1, 2022.