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Monday, 14 September 2009
Page: 9537

Mr DANBY (6:49 PM) —Genia Janover is one of those legendary school principals who influences the course of history in their country. At a special function that I attended on Sunday, tribute was paid to Genia with this wonderful book of tribute to her 20 years as principal of Bialik College in Melbourne, a college that she has brought, in the last 20 years, from some 400 students to 1,100 today. To honour her at that wonderful warm ceremony, where the parents, staff and students expressed what I can only describe as love for her, an announcement was made that an early learning centre would be named in perpetuity in her honour. Genia has also been judged by objective criteria. She was named as one of the 10 top educators in Australia in 2003. She was named as principal of the year in 2007. But this does not really describe the way people feel about her. I think it was best summed up by a teacher who said, ‘Most principals are tolerated, some are respected, few are liked, but you are actually loved.’ According to objective criteria, Bialik College is the top performing school in the VCE in Melbourne. That is in no small part due to her extraordinary ethos as an educator.