Yakamia Primary School celebrates 50 years of educational success

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Yakamia Primary School teacher Sue Donaldson, with former student Emma Myers and daughters Luella Edwards, year 6 and Ivy Edwards, year 4 and school principal Gemma Larham.
Camera IconYakamia Primary School teacher Sue Donaldson, with former student Emma Myers and daughters Luella Edwards, year 6 and Ivy Edwards, year 4 and school principal Gemma Larham. Credit: Laurie Benson

Yakamia Primary School will be celebrating its golden jubilee this week as the school toasts 50 years of education.

The school had been hoping to start the party last year but celebrations were cut short because of COVID-19 restrictions.

“We’re very excited for our 50th — we’ve been open from 1970 to 2020. We didn’t do our celebrations because of COVID but we’re celebrating now,” Yakamia principal Gemma Larham said.

The school has gone through its fair share of changes in the past half-century, perhaps most significantly when it was rebuilt in 2008 to renew its facilities and open its doors to more students.

Ms Larham said that throughout the changes, student care had remained the top priority.

“Our school has got a fabulous environment, it’s cared for all kids for the last 50 years and will continue to care for them for the next 50 years,” she said. “Kids come first.” The school’s community spirit is embodied by retiring teacher Sue Donaldson who has been teaching at Yakamia PS for three decades. “It’s a fabulous school and I feel really blessed to have worked here for so long,” she said. “I really miss the children and I really miss the staff.”

Former Yakamia Primary School student Emma Myers with teacher Sue Donaldson, daughters Luella Edwards, year 6 and Ivy Edwards, year 4 and school principal Gemma Larham.
Camera IconFormer Yakamia Primary School student Emma Myers with teacher Sue Donaldson, daughters Luella Edwards, year 6 and Ivy Edwards, year 4 and school principal Gemma Larham. Credit: Laurie Benson

Ms Donaldson said the school must continue to instil the qualities of resilience and co-operation in the younger generations.

“I think that we need to be very aware that whatever their students’ job is, they’ve got to learn to co-operate,” she said.

“They have to learn to adjust, they’ve got to be resilient.”

Former Yakamia Primary School student Emma Myers with daughters Luella Edwards, year 6 and Ivy Edwards, year 4.
Camera IconFormer Yakamia Primary School student Emma Myers with daughters Luella Edwards, year 6 and Ivy Edwards, year 4. Credit: Laurie Benson

Ms Donaldson taught multiple generations of students at the school including past student Emma Myers as well as her daughters Ivy and Luella Edwards, who currently attend Yakamia.

Ms Myers said one of her main memories of the school was of Ms Donaldson herself. “Sue was my first teacher and it’s a memory that just stays with you,” she said.

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