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Corio teacher retires after 21 years

After 21 years and more than 1000 children coming through her classroom doors, William Hovell Preschool educator and leader Sharron German is retiring this week.

There have been thousands of stories, songs, art sessions and incredible learning moments, and now Ms German is reflecting on an incredibly rewarding career that spans decades in the Corio community.

Ms German started her teaching journey as a primary school teacher in 1992. After a decade of working predominantly in schools, she went back to university to become a qualified kindergarten teacher, and in 2003 started teaching at William Hovell Preschool.

“I always knew I would be a teacher as I loved the thought of helping children achieve their best,” she said.

“Kinder age is a wonderful time to be with children as they are so receptive to learning – it allows you to develop close bonds that last well beyond their years with you.”

Ms German has experienced many big achievements during her time at William Hovell, including being part of an ‘Exceeding’ mark for the kindergarten in The Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority National Quality Framework rating in 2023 – which tracks quality standards in kindergartens nationally.

She has also personally won several Kinder Inclusion Support Awards – a statewide recognition.

However, for Ms German, it is the tangible impact in the community that means the most.

“One of my biggest wins is the inclusive non-judgmental space I have nurtured at William Hovell,” she said.

“Allowing all children the opportunity to belong is very important to me.

“I also love the opportunity of opening children’s minds beyond their families; to be inclusive, to think about others, to accept difference and be able to sit comfortably with it and to care about the environment.

“Also having children who come to kinder with no verbal language and then start to talk to me is a feeling I will treasure.”

Sharron German has taught more than 1000 children during her 21 years at William Hovell Preschool.

Ms German has certainly made her mark on the Corio community and the families she has had the joy to meet.

“I love teaching in the kinder environment as you get to work not only with the children but their families and community as well,” she said.

“Supporting families through hard times and seeing them thrive at the other end gives me a great sense of pride.

“I have had several families who I have taught all their children, and some of these families have five or six children!

“I love hearing my name called from the other end of the shopping centre and it being a past family who love to stop for a chat and tell you about their child’s journey.”

Ms German has undoubtably made her mark on William Hovell Preschool, but it has also made a lasting mark on her.

“William Hovell is my second home,” she said.

“It has an amazing community feel and is part of the fabric of the Corio area.

“William Hovell is a true extension of the community, and families feel comfortable dropping in and chatting to the staff rather than doing things online.

“I consider the amazing staff I work with as my extended family.

“We have a great team at William Hovell and saying goodbye to them will be the hardest part of retiring.”

Ms German plans to spend her well-earned retirement travelling with her husband.

However, true to her passion for education, she will return to Meli Kindergartens between trips as a relief teacher, so local families will still experience the joy of being taught by one of the region’s best.

To find out more about Meli Kindergartens, head to: Kindergartens | Meli

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