Carmel School is pleased to announce the appointment of Mrs Debbie Bolton as our new Head of Primary. Many members of the Carmel community know Mrs Bolton for her passionate and committed leadership in the role of Deputy Head of Primary. Since the start of this year, Debbie has been acting in the Head of Primary role and, following a recruitment process that attracted many highly qualified candidates, the decision to appoint Mrs Bolton to the role permanently was unanimous.

Mrs Bolton has been with Carmel for nearly 20 years. Starting out as a Year 1 teacher who joined the School after working in country WA and London for a number of years, she knew from the beginning it was the right fit. “I didn’t know a great deal about Carmel before I started here, but I was impressed from the start by the warmness of staff, commitment of students and enthusiasm of parents. I knew from the beginning that Carmel was a school that cared about people,” she said. When reflecting on what makes Carmel special and unique, Debbie is quick to point out that the community link, along with knowing and treating each child as an individual is key. “Carmel School is a warm and welcoming environment that ensures each child is moving along their own developmental continuum. The Jewish community are the reason our School exists and having the support of this community makes it possible to provide a holistic education for every student,” she said.

Principal Mrs Shula Lazar who led the recruitment process is thrilled that Debbie has accepted the position. “In Debbie, we have a leader with the unique and compelling combination of high-level management skills, incredible compassion and a true love of both the educational context and children. Whenever Debbie speaks of children, I can tell she respects them as individuals and will always consider their needs first. She is a true asset to Carmel.”

Teachers on the Primary School campus are similarly thrilled. Year 2 teacher, Miss Berman said of the appointment “I feel an overwhelming sense of comfort and confidence knowing that Debbie will be stepping into the role of Head of Primary. She is a proactive leader who always brings out the best in both children and staff.” Kindy teacher, Morah Dionne, echoed the thoughts, “I am absolutely thrilled by this news. I admire Deb’s dedication to best practice in education, children and childhood, as well as the way she nurtures genuine connections with both students and staff. On a personal level, Deb continues to be an inspiring mentor to me and I appreciate and value all that she does daily,” she said.

Mrs Bolton is looking forward to building on the work she has already done, not only over the past 5 months but over her tenure more broadly. “After acting in this role for the past 5 months, I am looking forward to carrying on with the work that we are focusing on as a staff. We are committed to using data to inform our teaching and learning and building strong relationships with the students and parents. We want every child to reach their potential and my role will continue to support the staff and students towards achieving this,” she said.

Leading the School and managing the demands of parents, staff and students is a welcome challenge for Mrs Bolton, but she has many other passions and interests. She loves sport, so the carnivals and interschool competitions are highlights for her of the bustling school calendar. These events give students an opportunity to step up and show not only ability but also sportsmanship, something that gives fills her with pride and joy. She also enjoys celebrating the chaggim and remembers fondly the warm welcome she received from her mentor teachers Mrs Saunders and Ms Vilensky, who educated her on many aspects of the Jewish faith and culture. At the end of the day, Debbie enjoys the company of her family and, especially, her West Highland Terrier Waldo, who is stubborn but much loved. You may even see him walking with Mrs Bolton on the oval from time to time!

This appointment rounds out a strong leadership team at the School and sets Carmel up to build on the incredible success it has achieved over the past 60 years.