Premiers welcome surprise for WDSS

26 Mar 2018 Wangaratta Chronicle, Wangaratta VIC (General News) $50,000 grant towards purchase of a new school bus BY SHANE DOUTHIE sdouthie@ A FRANK and honest letter from the parent of a student at Wangaratta District Specialist School (WDSS) was the catalyst for Premier Daniel Andrews to make a visit to the school last Friday after making his $6.9 million hospital funding announcement. WDSS principal Chris Harvison guided Mr Andrews and Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria) through the rabbit warren of classrooms, many of them portables, so he could see first hand the schools desperate need for more room and better, more modern facilities. And while at the end of the tour the Premier praised the teachers and staff for their caring attitude and described the schools atmosphere as fantastic he said he was not in a position to make another grand announcement like that at the hospital. The department is working on the broader plans, he said. But Mr Andrews didnt come empty handed and stunned the WDSS staff and parents present when he announced $50,000 of funding to go towards the replacement of the school bus better known as the rattler. I had a call from Jaclyn (Symes) on Wednesday that there was a very good chance the Premier would be in attendance, Mr Harvison said. And although I had been told there would not be a budget announcement I was still hopeful. The $50,000 has the school at 92 per cent of the $70,000 target for a new bus. We can just about taste it, Mr Harvison said. What a way to end the week. We are thankful to the Premier and Ms Symes for this much-needed money and look forward to adding a new vehicle to our existing fleet sooner than expected. The school still needs another $6000 for the new bus. Donations are tax deductible and can be made by contacting the school on 57217424. Caption Text: FIRST HAND: WDSS school council president Ruth Crawford spoke passionately to Premier Daniel Andrews (right) about the pressures on students, staff and families caused by the cramped conditions at the school as principal Chris Harvison looks on. PLEASANT SURPRISE: When the Premier Daniel Andrews made a surprise visit to Wangaratta District Specialist School on Friday he brought a smile to everyones faces when he announced $50,000 funding to go towards a new school bus. Pictured are (from left) Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria), WDSS captains Dan Henwood and Jess Elkam, Premier Daniel Andrews, school council president Ruth Crawford and principal Chris Harvison. PHOTOS: Shane DouthieLicensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence