Wirrulla's Grace named boarding house captain

The boarding house at St Joseph's School Port Lincoln has elected a West Coast student as its captain, and is under new leadership with the recent appointment of a permanent director of boarding.

Year 12 student Grace Johnson of Wirrulla recently started her third year with the school and with it, was named the new captain.

The 17-year-old said it was an honour to hold the position.

"I was surprised to find out, but very happy to be the new captain," she said.

"It is a privilege to be captain and to help everyone out in the boarding house."

Grace said her roles would include helping with events, being a link between students and staff, and being there for other students in providing support.

She is aiming to be a primary school teacher in the future and having arrived in Port Lincoln as a year 10 student, Grace said being a boarder helped her to develop her maturity and independence.

"It is a good experience to be away from home and it prepares you for life after school as well," she said.

"I'm trying to become a primary school teacher - I don't know exactly what path I'll take, but will carry on with that goal.

"I am excited for the upcoming year and believe my role as captain will put me in good stead for down the line."

The school's new director of boarding is Kate Benjamin, who has been a senior secondary teacher and leader at the school since 2002.

She become the temporary director of boarding at the start of 2018 and after two years has now taken on the role in a permanent capacity.

Ms Benjamin said her goal was to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for boarding students, and to provide them with the care and support needed to flourish away from home.

"Although we are a small boarding house compared to others around Australia, this enables us to provide students with personalised care and helps them to settle in and get to know each other quickly," she said.

"Our new state of the art facility opened at the start of 2017 and has been recognised as one of the best in Australia - we are proud to offer single room accommodation and modern and comfortable breakout spaces for our students, who come to us from all over the Eyre Peninsula, West Coast and inland South Australia."

Set on school grounds, boarding house students have access to all of the school's facilities, as well as teachers and tutors who support the boarders during their evening study periods.

Ms Benjamin said many of the students played sport for local clubs and had after school or weekend jobs, further developing their independence and life skills.

While in school, the students are further supported by the boarding house captain, with senior students providing others with extra care and support.