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Farewell to a Beloved Principal

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After a decade of dedicated service to Melbourne Montessori School (MMS), Principal Gay Wales has advised the Board that she will leave her role in January 2022. Gay’s original intention was to leave her role at the end of 2020 and relocate to the UK, sharing her time between UK/Australia and her family based in each country. However, due to COVID-19 she kindly agreed to delay her decision and provide MMS with an extra year of service. The MMS Board acknowledges Gay’s exceptional leadership and wishes her every success. Gay looks forward to remaining an active member of the Montessori community continuing her role as MSCA Board Deputy Chair and exploring new opportunities in the UK.

On behalf of the Board, it has been an absolute privilege to work with Gay through a decade of remarkable growth and change for our School. Over that time, MMS purchased the Brighton campus, established a Senior School that has been recognised two years running with a National Innovation Award and expanded many of our educational programs and pathways on offer including a Long Day Care partnership. In 2020, Gay’s leadership of MMS’ transition to online learning was instrumental in ensuring a high degree of connectivity and continuity for staff and students alike throughout the COVID-19 lockdowns. It is therefore no wonder that MMS is acknowledged as one of Australia’s leading Independent Montessori Schools catering for children from 18 months to 18 years.

Since commencing in January 2012, Gay’s impact on MMS has extended well beyond its curriculum and administration. Gay has been a mentor to numerous MMS staff over the years and I know many students and their families, past and present, will also be saddened to hear of her decision.

Gay’s professionalism, vision and commitment to the School and the wider Montessori community in Australia will not be forgotten by the MMS community and we will ensure her remarkable contribution is acknowledged appropriately. Further, the MMS Foundation – the School’s flagship community support and engagement initiative established during Gay’s tenure – is planning to honour her legacy and more information will be provided in due course.

The Board is now focussed on finding the very best person to fulfil this important role and to maintain the ongoing success of MMS. A Principal Transition Committee (PTC) has been appointed to oversee the process of appointing a new School Principal. The PTC has engaged an education recruitment specialist to commence a search and selection process. The candidate criteria articulates our need for an experienced senior administrator committed to the Montessori philosophy of education who upholds our MMS values with an emphasis on excellence, student agency and community.

With three full terms still remaining in 2021, both the Board and Gay are determined that this announcement does not distract MMS from our focus on excellence in Montessori education, whilst working together to ensure the transition to the new Principal will be achieved with minimal disruption. If you have any questions regarding this announcement or the transition process please direct them in the first instance to our email address (

We remain ever grateful to Gay for her tireless contribution as MMS’ longest serving
Principal and expect her legacy will be built on by a worthy successor.

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