Mount Whitestone State School principal Leticia De Mey. PHOTO: ALI KUCHEL.
Mount Whitestone State School principal Leticia De Mey. PHOTO: ALI KUCHEL.

How a Lockyer teacher is boosting rural education

HAVING spent 30 years teaching students across Queensland, Leticia De Mey has returned to the Lockyer Valley as a teaching-principal.

Mrs De Mey grew up in the Lockyer Valley, and for the past year and a half, has guided and educated the students at Mount Whitestone State School.

“To come home to the Lockyer Valley to such a beautiful school and a nice community and parents is just a bonus,” Mrs De Mey said.

“You’re constantly engaging with the families and the community. It’s just a nice feeling that you get when you come to work.”

As a rural school, Mrs De Mey said students didn’t always have the same opportunities as children at large city schools.

But that hasn’t stopped her dedication to inspiring some of the Lockyer Valley’s youngest minds.

Mount Whitestone State School principal Leticia De Mey. PHOTO: ALI KUCHEL.
Mount Whitestone State School principal Leticia De Mey. PHOTO: ALI KUCHEL.

“During my time at Mount Whitestone I have aimed to provide the children with the same opportunities, the same learning success and the same values that a larger school offers,” she said.

In 2020, Mrs De Mey introduced an instrumental music program to the school, where lessons for brass, woodwind and percussion are offered on a weekly basis.

A series of sporting school grants have also given students more opportunities.

“These grants have given the children an opportunity which they otherwise may not have had to engage with accredited coaches,” she said.

And this month, Mount Whitestone State School helped kick off Surf Life Saving Queensland’s Beach to Bush program, with the rescue helicopter landing on the school oval.

But it is seeing the kids use their imagine and grasp concepts that Mrs De Mey enjoys the most.

“You might be working on a concept for weeks and weeks, then all of a sudden just like that they get it – it’s like a light bulb moment,” she said.