Principal Keith Wenn leaves Launceston College after 16 years

TENURE: Launceston College principal Keith Wenn will leave the helm of the college at the end of the term after 16 years. Picture: Scott Gelston
TENURE: Launceston College principal Keith Wenn will leave the helm of the college at the end of the term after 16 years. Picture: Scott Gelston

End of term for Launceston College will be the end of an era for principal Keith Wenn.

When the clock ticks over to 5pm on April 13, Mr Wenn will walk out of the school doors of for the last time.

Of his 46 years as a school teacher and principal, Mr Wenn has spent 16 of those at the helm of the college.

“When you’re a supposed leader of an organisation, I think when you’re leaving, you want to leave at the best time for the organisation,” he said.

“The time is obvious to me now with the quality of staff we’ve got, the quality of programs.”

Mr Wenn has helped Launceston College grow from about 950 students to more than 1500, transforming the school into a data-focused, evidence-driven hub renowned as “one of the most prestigious public schools in the state”.

“I’ve been really fortunate to see that whole spectrum of how important education is from Kinder, Prep … all the way through to these wonderful young people heading off to university,” he said.

At Oatlands District High School in the early 2000s, Mr Wenn introduced grade 11 and 12 to the curriculum, and saw a 95 per cent retention rate to grade 11, which was far above the national average.

In 2015, Mr Wenn was named Tasmanian Secondary Principal of the Year, and also awarded the Overall Excellence Award.

But Mr Wenn doesn’t like looking back.

He says he prefers to look forward to the achievements still to come, at his college and beyond.

Launceston College does not stand as a silo, but has strong community partnerships through arts, sport, music and more. 

Through its virtual college, extension schools have access to high level subjects for regional and rural students – another partnership Mr Wenn is proud of.

“It has been a great privilege being the principal of Launceston College and working with the Northern community,” he said.

Mr Wenn said he wasn’t sure what would be next.

“The world is still spinning for everyone, and I’ll keep spinning with it.”