Family comes first for departing head

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Home is where the heart is for outgoing Derby District High School principal Mark Williams, who has called it a day after more than a decade of commitment to the region.

Mr Williams stepped down from the top job at the Derby school earlier this year, bringing an end to his 12-year stint in the Kimberley.

After becoming a grandfather, the respected educator said it was time for him to return to Perth to be with his growing family.

Mr Williams spent nearly two years at Derby District and said it was “not long enough”.

“My departure was only due to wanting to be closer to my family,” he said.

“Having worked across the Kimberley, I have always been inspired by the dedication, desire and enthusiasm of teachers who come and work in what can be challenging environments.

“I feel immensely happy to be returning to my family on a full-time basis, but I’m also very sad to be farewelling an education region that has enriched both my teaching career and life.”

Although he is returning to Perth, Mr Williams’ passion for the region has drawn him to take on the manager role for the Kimberley Schools Project, which aims to increase student performance by focusing on early childhood in partnership with schools, families and the wider community.

Mr Williams said he was proud of his time in the North West and encouraged families to continue to play a role in student learning.

“Be an active part of your children’s education,” he said. “Volunteer, join the parent council or board, attend assemblies and tell people that your school is the best in the Kimberley.”

Hilary Carruthers will be acting principal at Derby District until a permanent appointment is announced.

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