Raising funds for the Somerville House Foundation Scholarship Fund and looking after the School was all in a day’s work for the twelfth (and a half) Principal of Somerville House and then Year 7 student, Principal Verity Wedderburn. Offered as an auction prize at the Foundation Fundraising Lunch in September 2019, the Principal for a Day initiative saw Verity have the wonderful opportunity of shadowing Principal, Mrs Kim Kiepe for the day. The Principals conversed over morning tea and lunch in the Principal’s Office and partook in a range of executive duties, including a trip to the Archive and leading an assembly. 

“In the morning I turned up to school in ‘corporate attire’ and reported to the Principal’s Office for the Day. Mrs Kiepe had a busy day planned,” Verity said. 

“Mrs Kiepe showed me the Somerville House Archives and I especially liked the uniforms. They were handmade and are modelled after the old and current uniforms, there were also many pictures of old teams and school photos, such as an old picture of a swimming team,” she said. 

Upon donning her ceremonial green ‘Principal for the Day’ sash, Principal Verity’s first official duty was to visit a class during Tutor Group, something Principal Kiepe takes great delight in every school week. Opting to visit her own Tutor Group to wish a fellow classmate a happy birthday, Principal Verity and Principal Kiepe also played the game ‘Word of the Day’ where they tested the students’ knowledge of the word ‘embellish’.

“My personal favourite event of the day was our Word of the Day game,” Verity said.

“Each week Mrs Kiepe chooses a year level to visit, and quizzes them on her word of the day, then she would ask somebody to give the definition of the word of the day,” Verity said.

Returning to the Principal’s Office for the official photograph in the Principal’s chair, the Co-Principals then began their executive duties for the day, which included planning for the assembly, stopping briefly for morning tea. Principal Verity also received a guided tour of The Study by Mrs Kiepe, before they sat down for their scheduled lunch with the School Captains.  

Joined by her parents who were invited to watch their daughter lead the assembly, Principal Verity, as part of the processional, was welcomed to the stage by Mrs Kiepe during her address.

“I understand that Miss Fewings was the founding Principal at Somerville House, and I do believe that following Miss Fewings there were Co-Principals, Miss Harker and Miss Jarrett,” Mrs Kiepe said. 

“Today, much like Miss Harker and Miss Jarrett, I have had the pleasure of being a Co-Principal with Principal Verity, our Principal for a Day,” she said. 

Upon taking the microphone, Principal Verity’s first agenda item was to introduce the School’s Facilities Manager, Mr Alan Clark, asking him to the stage to collect a certificate of appreciation for his team on behalf of the School.

“Mr Clark, on behalf of the students and staff of Somerville House, I would like to thank you and the facilities team for always preparing school venues for exams, meetings and special events,” Principal Verity said. 

“We thank you for transporting equipment, erecting tents at the Interhouse Athletics, setting up barbeques and generally being helpful to ensure the smooth running of our school,” she said. 

“We also acknowledge the grounds staff within the Facilities team who keep our campus looking pristine and in great condition every day.” 

Continuing with her address, Principal Verity discussed the busyness of the term and the many exciting activities it held. 

“Life in a school can be particularly busy and this term has been no exception,” Principal Verity said.

“Many of us have been busy with QGSSSA sports and other fun activities such as the Arts Fest (festival), and depending on how you look at it, the QCS test,” she said. 

“We have all earned a rest, so I wish you a happy and safe mid-semester break and I look forward to seeing you back for another big term in two weeks’ time.” 

However, her official assembly duties did not stop there, Principal Verity, in conjunction with Mrs Kiepe, also had the opportunity to present several awards to students who participated in activities such as Duke of Edinburgh, OPTI-Minds as well as medals to those who competed in the state finals of the Readers Cup. 

Following the conclusion of a wonderful assembly, Verity said she thoroughly enjoyed speaking to the students, even though she was quite nervous. 

“I did enjoy leading the assembly, however beforehand I was, of course, extremely nervous,” Verity said. 

“Yet, I overcame my nerves, and the assembly was very good, I enjoyed speaking in front of everyone,” she said. 

“Thank you, Mrs Kiepe, for taking the time and showing me your day as Principal. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.”