The Glenroi Way gets A+ for resilience

Faced with adversity, one school responded with positivity, tenacity and … the Nutbush. Kristi Pritchard-Owens reports.

Image: Students show they are stronger together and still have their hoop skills.

There is a well-worn saying that when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade.

The Glenroi Heights Public School community in Orange has taken that idea and run with it.

With understandable pride they call it the ‘Glenroi Way’ – and if they could bottle it, the school would make a fortune.

“Here at Glenroi, simply being together as a community keeps our spirits alive,” assistant principal Kirstie Tyerman said.

“We know we are stronger together and we couldn’t be more proud of our resilient staff and students.”

Fire badly damaged the school’s library and administration building in the early hours of Tuesday, 6 December.

Taking the view that tough times should not be faced alone, school staff began organising an event to allow the traumatised community to reconnect through play, dance and food – for the very next day.

Students played games and strapped on roller skates, parents fired up the sausage sizzle and teachers did face painting and led the Nutbush dance.

Image: Modelling the ‘Glenroi Way’ – reconnecting through dance.

By the end of the day, everyone’s spirits were lifted.

“It was wonderful to see the smiles on the students’ faces,” assistant principal Adam Hamling said.

“Our parents too, they’ve shown so much patience and understanding.”

Students are learning from home while the school is non-operational, however, teachers will always find a way to connect, and have been running games and activities in the afternoons at Orange Youth Hub.

At the last minute, the Hub also became the location of the 2022 Glenroi Heights Public School Christmas Concert.

Offers of assistance and support have continued to roll in from the community, along with plenty of admiration for the strength and resilience being displayed.

“As a school, we just want to say thank you, the huge outpouring of support from everyone around us has helped tremendously,” principal Tegan Davis said.

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