Woodvale Primary celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2017. The school commenced operation in 1987 with less than 200 students, 8 classes and 16 staff members. Foundation principal, Peter Toohey, was ably assisted by deputies Frank Papasergio and Noreen Reid.
Rapid growth in an expanding suburb saw student numbers quadruple over the next three years. In 1990, North Woodvale Primary School opened and many foundation Woodvale families transferred to a new school. Later that year, friends became rivals at the annual lightning and athletics carnivals.
Following the transfer of Mr Peter Toohey, Woodvale continued its transition and growth with the appointment of new principal, Graeme Lanham. By 1995, numbers had swelled to over 800 students. The presence of 9 transportable classrooms on the school site stretched resources to the limit and space was at a premium.
Navigating progress through this period of change was challenging. Woodvale began to assert itself as a strong sporting school, winning the State Primary Tennis Championships in 1997. Technology and infrastructure upgrades in 1998 and the appointment of John Mackenzie as principal were also significant milestones in Woodvale’s history.
By 2000, the Woodvale P & C, working closely with deputy, Frank Papasergio, had already organised six successful school fairs. This tradition continued into the next decade with another five biennial events. By 2012, over one thousand Woodvale students had experienced the Point Peron, Manjedal and Nanga Bush Camps. In 2002, the boys team was again victorious in the State Primary Tennis Championships. In 2006, Woodvale received another accolade when it was named the state’s best ‘Waterwise’ school.
Former Woodvale students have continued to excel in many areas of sporting and professional life and helped to build a culture of excellence and achievement. This culture was further enhanced when 2006 graduate, Nicole Kerr, was awarded the 2011 Beazley Medal.
Principals David Lee, Peter Blackwell, Peter McLeod, John O’Neill, Bob Dayman, Gavin Power, John Latham and now, Neil McCallum, have all made valuable contributions throughout the past decade. In 2009, the passing of foundation deputy principal, Noreen Reid, was a galvanising moment in the school’s history. Noreen will be long remembered as an outstanding person and educator.
In 2011, the staff and P & C paid tribute to retiring deputy, Frank Papasergio. Frank was often described as the ‘heart and soul’ of Woodvale Primary School. After 25 years of service, he will retain a strong link with the school when he returns each year to present his own award to a member of the graduating class.