OVER the next nine months, a block of land in Butler will develop into a primary school – and recently-appointed principal Brett Lewis will be watching it grow.
Mr Lewis will be the founding head of the north Butler school when it opens to its first students in February 2014, but he told the Times he expected the six months before that to be busy.
‘I don’t start officially until July,’ he said. ‘Six months before the school opens there is a lot to do. There will be lots of community consultation ” things such as selection of uniforms. The school should be the centre of the community ” that’s one thing that can bring a whole community together, especially a new community.’
Opening new schools is old territory for Mr Lewis, who worked at Neerabup Primary when it relocated to Banksia Grove and was the founding principal of Hopetoun Primary and founding associate principal at Carramar Primary.
‘My last eight years have been in new facilities ” it’s a great experience to build the school from the sand,’ he said.
‘It has been a professional goal of mine to secure a position as a foundation principal of a Perth school.’
Mr Lewis began teaching in 1983 and won his first principal’s position in 1989, working mostly in the wheatbelt where he lived with his wife, son and daughter for 21 years.
He said he enjoyed the sense of community in country towns, and left Hopetoun only when his son, who was born with one kidney, went into complete renal failure.
Having received a kidney transplant from his uncle, his son ” now 22 ” has recovered and followed in his father’s footsteps to start teaching Year 6 this year.
For those wondering why Mr Lewis looks a little familiar, he has been dancing across television screens in a gas commercial recently.