This month we speak to Rachelle De Iacovo, Principal of St Anthony’s School, Dimbulah. The small country school holds a very special place in Rachelle’s heart as it was the primary school that both herself and her children attended. She shares what is most special about her school community as well as what she hopes to achieve as Principal.
What is most special about your school community?
We are a little school community and ever since I stepped foot into the doors when I was in Year 1, I have consistently experienced a positive atmosphere, and a feeling of community and belonging. Everyone is warmly welcomed by every member of the school community and every staff member here is extremely dedicated to enriching the lives of every learner and are committed to continually improving their practices.
What do you hope to achieve in your role as Principal?
To continue to strengthen partnerships and harness the energy of the staff and parents in this extraordinary learning community to strive for excellence in all we do. I want to ensure that every child is receiving the best education, they are reaching to their full potential and are demonstrating our school’s CHRIST (Community, Humility, Respect, Integrity, Service and Tolerance) values.
What makes you most proud to be the leader of your school community?
St Anthony’s holds a very special place in my heart. This was the school that I went to during my primary schooling, my two children attended this school and I have been teaching in this school for over 10 years. Being the leader of this school is an honour, as I want to continue to foster the positive and welcoming school community that St Anthony’s was for my children and me. St Anthony’s is an amazing school, and I am proud to be leading the current staff, students, and parents.
How did your education shape you to be the person you are today?
While attending St Anthony’s we were constantly encouraged to be good people and to help those who were in need. I was taught by the Josephite nuns, so clearly, we learnt by Mary MacKillop’s famous words “Never see a need without doing something about it.” When I was in Year 4, I had a teacher who I was in complete awe of. She had a passion for teaching and genuinely wanted every student in her class to be the best they could be and to reach to their full potential. I wanted to be just like her. I wanted to teach children to be the best person they can be and to have an appetite for learning.
What motto, affirmation or prayer do you live by?
My go to is the “Footprints” prayer. It has been my favourite from a very young age, and it speaks to me, because no matter what is happening in your life, God is always there to guide and protect you… you just need to have faith.
Another one that I refer to is “Do what you love”. This was a motto that was creatively painted on a canvas and gifted to me by a past student. They told me that they could see that I loved what I did and to think that can impact on the lives of others is empowering.
What is the highlight of your career so far?
Being the principal at St Anthony’s School and working with the amazing staff, students and parents is the highlight of my career so far. Seeing students succeed and being proud of their achievements is extremely rewarding. Also, knowing that you are a part of this is extremely gratifying.
What’s the best thing about living and working in FNQ?
I am local to Dimbulah, having lived here for over 30 years and believe nothing beats living in a small country town. I love the quietness of the surrounds and the landscape provides a different picture every day. Being in a small community I feel a sense of security and know that the people in this community are there for you. The weather is not too bad either.
How would you describe ‘the Catholic school difference’?
Being able to openly share my faith and take part in a prayer life with others and self. The Catholic school difference is being able to inspire and live out the Gospel of Life to encounter Christ in all that we do. We are committed to fostering a place of inclusiveness, where the educational needs of every student is met, regardless of where they come from, who they are, their abilities and what they aspire to be.
Follow the link to find out more about St Anthony’s School, Dimbulah.