Kate Lafferty has been an asset over the past 17 years at Leongatha Secondary College. She has been instrumental in the introduction of Compass to our school and has held a number of significant leadership roles during her time here. Kate built very positive relationships with her students and we know she will be missed by staff, students and their families when she moves on to a new role next year.
Student Journalist Jye Davey interviewed Kate about her time at the college:
What has been your most memorable moment at LSC?
A few years ago I did a “pay it forward” activity. Students had to help a stranger. They weren’t allowed to tell their parents – they had to look for opportunities to make someone’s life a little easier. They had to help, without prompting, and without expecting anything in return. I had 4 parents ring me to let me know the pride they experienced seeing their teenage kids help strangers. It made me realise how much of an impact teachers can have. When one of the students finished Year 12, they told me that 3 years later, they were “still looking for ways to make someone’s day brighter”.
What advice would you give to the students at LSC?
To set the bar high and work to achieve the things they want in life. Nothing comes easy.
What are you going to miss the most about LSC?
The staff: There are some staff in particular who have always looked out for me. When I started here in my early 20’s, I was really supported. In particular some of the oldies (as in, been at LSC a while), Sue Gowers, Jenny Goss, Pete McCaughan, Sheena Cumming and Bron Webster. Then there’s the lunchtime group. I’ll miss Taz Boden (for not getting the jokes), David McGillivray (for (mostly) unknowingly making inappropriate jokes), and Sophie Taratuta (as she and I try not to laugh too much at both of these situations).
The students: The laughs that I have with them. I enjoy teaching, for the relationships that you form. Also, I have certain students that I look out for. There are kids from time to time that need someone to make sure they are ok. I have a few of those each year, it’s kind of nice when they don’t need you to check on them anymore.
What has been your greatest achievement?
Introducing Compass – helping the staff transition to a fully online system of school management including introducing progress reports and reports on Compass was challenging for the staff and was a long and hard process. It’s rewarding to look back now and see how far we have come.
In terms of the students: starting the Intervention Program, I was frustrated for a long time at the lack of help available for students who needed some extra assistance. It took a lot of work and convincing to get it up and running. I now see the kids now with Leasa and Tanya, and the way they love going to IP. It’s really nice to see the safe and supportive environment that has been built from the program I started.
We would like to thank Kate for all of her work at LSC and wish her all the best in her new role next year.