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New Face at St Gabriel’s School

David Cook has big dreams for St Gabriels School at Castle Hill and as new Principal he is looking forward to the school’s first Year 12 graduation ceremony.

St Gabe’s, as it is affectionately known as, is an independent Catholic School catering for primary and secondary students with diverse special needs.

Founded in 1922 it has evolved over the years and five years ago started transitioning from a K-6 to K-12 school, growing from 40 students to 200 students.

Mr Cook has over 25 years experience in the education field including Senior Deputy Principal at Wenona and Acting Principal at Hills Grammar.

He holds a Master’s degree in Education and began his teaching career in 1993 as a mathematics teacher at Rooty Hill High School. He has also taught at St Paul’s Catholic College and Masada College.

One of the reasons he was drawn to St Gabe’s was because of its transformative impact on the well-being and growth of students with intellectual and physical disabilities, along with its rapidly expanding close-knit community.

“St Gabriel’s very much felt like a natural place for me to be a Principal,” he told the Hills to Hawkesbury Community News.

Principal David Cook At St Gabriels With Students New Face At St Gabriel’s School

“I am a strong advocate for all young people to be placed in an environment where they feel supported, are able to succeed and also be prepared in the best way possible for what lies beyond school.

“The staff at St Gabriel’s are amazing in their dedication for the students and deserve all the accolades that come their way. The community is strong and supportive in so many ways all for the benefit of the young people.”

He says his four years at Hills Grammar allowed him to nurture a passion in teachers for making sure every child was given the best opportunity to succeed at their own level and their own interests.

“The opportunity to work with students of diverse needs at Hills Grammar in the Learning Centre there also instilled in me the passion for providing the most supportive environment for students requiring specialised learning environments.”

The future for St Gabe’s is one of growth according to Mr Cook who took on the top at the start of this year.

“My plans are to continue to grow the school, to continue to provide the choice all families need for the most appropriate learning environment for their child. It is to lead the way in best practice in educating for students who have a range of diverse needs.”

The father-of-two says he has an amazing, supportive wife and family.

The football-playing Principal also loves to read and “escape to the beach” with his family to refresh and unwind.

Bev Jordan

Bev Jordan studied journalism at Harlow College in the UK.  She achieves a Diploma in Journalism from the National Council for the Training of Journalists. After migrating to Australia at the end of 1984, she took up a Senior Journalist position with Cumberland Newspapers, based on the Parramatta Advertiser. She has since worked on the Daily Telegraph, Sydney Morning Herald and was a lecturer in Journalism at Macleay College in Sydney. Bev returned to Cumberland Newspapers (NewsLocal) and worked for 30 years covering all different mastheads, including Mosman Daily, Mount Druitt Standard and finally Hills Shire Times for the last 17 of those years. Bev’s passion has always been local community journalism.  She says “As a journalist, I have always seen it as my job to inform, inspire and involve.  I am a passionate advocate for organisations and people making a difference to the world around them. Connectedness is so important to the health of an individual but also to a community, no matter how small or large.

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