READY TO LEARN: Bowen State School P & C president Matthew Bath, P & C secretary Michelle Wright, deputy principal Wayne Evans and principal Christien Payne.
READY TO LEARN: Bowen State School P & C president Matthew Bath, P & C secretary Michelle Wright, deputy principal Wayne Evans and principal Christien Payne. Jordan Gilliland

Changing of the guard for local school

A CHANGING of the guard has occurred at one local school with a new leadership team heralded in.

Bowen State School has seen fresh blood enter its ranks from this term, as a new principal and deputy principal join the team.

Mackay-born principal Christien Payne said that it felt like 'coming home' to him when the opportunity for Bowen State School came up.

No stranger to teaching in the region, he spent seven years in Proserpine before moving to Collinsville to be a principal for two and a half years.

His most recent position before Bowen was in Mt Isa where he was a principal for two years.

"I used to come to Bowen on holidays and I've kept coming back here with my children since then. I've watched my children climb over the same rocks I did as a kid," Mr Payne said.

"I really feel like I've grown up in the region and it feels a part of me."

For deputy principal Wayne Evans, it had been a whirlwind six months before he landed in Bowen.

"This is my 11th school this year," Mr Evans said.

"I'm a temporary deputy principal, so I will find myself where I am needed. I have been teaching for about 45 years so I have a lot of experience."

Mr Evans was brought in to provide stability and support to Mr Payne as he transitioned into the new school environment, and assist until a full time deputy principal was found.

He will be in the position until the end of this year, and said that the school would be one of the hardest to leave.

"The energy and vibe that comes from the students and the school is phenomenal," he said.

"I've been to a lot of schools this year, and I can say for sure that this one will be one of the hardest to tear myself away from."

Mr Payne said the hardest part of entering a new school environment was earning the trust of the school and its community.

"Getting a school like this is a bit like winning the lottery in that I am blessed with a great foundation," he said.

"The biggest challenge is trying to win over the community and tell them that you're here to support them and their children and build on that foundation."

Mr Payne said that the positive outlook for Bowen's future definitely translated to his students.

"Overall this is a very positive school, but the students definitely feel that vibe from the town and their family," he said.

"I saw that in my time at Collinsville. As the town rejuvenated the positivity flowed on into the students and really helped them.

"However when times are down, people do look to the school for that solid base to provide the family stability. We will provide that if need be too."


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