Vale Anne Bell

We remember Anne Bell who worked at Wangaratta High School from 1974-2002.

VALE – ANNE BELL

25/05/1938 – 26/07/2020
Anne Bell was a much loved and well respected member of staff at Wangaratta High School for 28 years, from 1974 until 2002 when she retired.

During this time she held many positions of responsibility including Head of Home Economics Department (now Food Technology), Senior mistress, Welfare Coordinator (including staff welfare) , and Year Level coordinator.

Donna Lane and Carol Myles worked closely with Anne in the Home Economics area.  Donna first met Anne when she started as a first-year teacher at Wangaratta High School in 1977.At this time there were just two Home Economics teachers in the school until Carol joined them in 1982.

Anne quickly became a valued mentor, colleague and friend to them both for many years.

Anne was calm, measured and approached any issue with kindness, understanding and often with humour.

Besides teaching duties, Anne was also in charge of female students and dealt with many issues and was also in charge of First Aid needs at the school. There was a small area at the back of the Home Economics class rooms where students were tended to by Anne.

Anne was an extremely capable and natural leader.  She could be relied upon to take charge in any situation, whether in the classroom or during the many functions that were an important part of the school. Events such as Prefect Investitures, Anzac Assemblies, Year 12 dinners or Debutante Balls were important and significant celebrations and usually the Home Economics Department was responsible for the refreshments served to the student body, staff and many parents and guests.  With Anne in charge these celebrations occurred with a minimum of fuss.

Carol remembers meeting Anne in 1982 and found her to be a compassionate and well-respected member of staff who always set high standards both for herself, fellow staff members and students, something that Carol was happy to implement. When Anne moved to other positions both Donna and Carol took over these roles in Home Economics.

Helen Hill first met Anne in the mid 70’s and remembers Anne teaching beautiful Florentine canvas work to a year 10 student.  Another memory was in the 1980’s when Anne took on the Student Welfare position which in those days was a significant appointment.  The role primarily addressed the well-being needs of all students, (1200) at WHS. She also worked collaboratively with Year Level Coordinators, Form teachers, Teachers, the Chaplain and the Assistant Principal (Welfare). This often involved one on one counselling, mediation or referral to outside experts in specific roles. She was also involved in the planning of programs to assist staff and students to develop more resilience and leadership skills in order to improve outcomes in their education.

Anne moved into another role in 1993 when Helen had the privilege of taking on the student welfare role.

Anne mentored Helen during this time and the key qualities she taught her were:

  •  to always be kind and gain an understanding of the individual’s needs;
  •  to always be inclusive and non-judgmental;
  •  to develop trust and dependability with the students;
  •  to have a consistently caring approach.

Anne realized that good communication was the key to working with students, staff and parents and confidentiality was paramount.

Anne was a much-respected member of the school leadership team; she was extremely well organized and could always be counted upon to put the interests of the whole school to the fore of any decision making.

Elaine first met Anne in 1975 when she started at the High School. Elaine, in her role initially as an English Support Teacher and later as a Form Teacher, Assistant Year 7 coordinator and also in charge of transition had many occasions to refer to Anne when she was in charge of Student Welfare. Her help and support in any situation could always be counted on. She was always there as an extra support with junior students when needed. Anne’s much valued friendship and support continued until her passing.

Anne is sadly missed by her many friends who remained close to her after she retired.

Helen Hill, Donna Lane, Elaine Mudge and Carol Myles