Barel leaving Masada

Wendy Barel speaking at Masada College’s 50th anniversary gala dinner in 2016. Photo: Noel Kessel.

AFTER serving 12 years as principal of Masada College, and with the continued support of the community, Wendy Barel is retiring at the end of this school term due to health challenges.

In a letter to the Masada community, Barel commented, “It has been a great honour” and a “huge responsibility and privilege” to lead the school.

“The last few months have only further reinforced my feelings about the strength of Masada as so many of you, parents, staff, students and alumni, have reached out to me,” she added.

School president David Guth said, “Wendy’s sense of dedication has been a source of inspiration to the staff and parents of Masada College as well as those of us on the board … Wendy’s in-depth knowledge of each child and her passion for ensuring that all students leave the college with a clear sense of identity and belonging, as well as being prepared for their life journey, have made Wendy a remarkable principal.”

Honouring Barel as a “woman of valour”, Masada junior school teacher Nicole Grauman remarked, “Wendy has taught me: the true definition of integrity, of being generous and forthcoming in praise where due and in offering feedback in a gentle manner.”

Another junior and high school teacher Danna Rosen remarked, “I will always admire the way she tried to give everyone a go and to think of others with each decision.”

Barel inculcated important values in the school’s ethos through introducing key programs including The Culture of Thinking – a method of teaching that emphasises deep thinking and inquisitive learning, and Leader in Me – focused on developing life skills and attributes that will stand students in good stead for life beyond Masada.

Extending gratitude to the current and past boards at Masada, Barel said their support allowed her to introduce initiatives that, she believes, have put the school on the educational map.

Prior to becoming principal, Barel served as head of curriculum (pre-school to year 12), then deputy principal (pre-school to year 12) and head of senior school.
Although standing down from her role as principal, Barel said she intends to “support [Masada] in any way I can from the sidelines”.

Martin Tait is currently the acting principal.

SOPHIE DEUTSCH