ANDREW Hartnett, or Andy as he’s affectionately known, is a well recognised face at St Mary of the Angels Secondary College and on February 20, the former student will have been a celebrated part of the school’s Property Service Team for a remarkable 20 years.
St Mary of the Angels Secondary College teacher, Sue McCallum said, “I was originally brought into the college as a special needs coordinator and at that time, Andy was the only special needs student that we had. Andy was in year 9 at that stage and our teaching staff were having trouble engaging him in class, so we set some tasks for him around the school to help peak his interest.
“In the beginning we got him doing some odd jobs in the tuck shop, sorting drinks and arranging stock, things like that, and he was doing really well. After a few weeks our maintenance manager, Bob Coonerty said he could probably find some odd jobs for him to do. Andy had one day with Bob and he refused to go back to class. That was that.
“So at that time, we had to find a way to create a position for Andy and a way to make it happen. Luckily for us, Shepparton Access had just started and Andy was one of their first clients.
“There have been many funny moments with Andy. He has a fantastic sense of humour. One of my favourites was when he received the principal’s award. When our principal at the time, Chris Randell, announced Andy’s name he marched through the crowd up to the stage to proudly accept. We actually had to end up buying a whole new trophy because it was a perpetual trophy and Andy refused to give it back.
“Andy is very much a part of the staff.”
Shepparton Access CEO, Wendy Shanks said, “We whole heartedly congratulate Andrew. He has, over the past 20 years made a substantial contribution to both St Mary’s and the local community.
“Andrew’s work at St Mary’s has become an inspiration to all in the wider community. Over the years he has been keen to work alongside Bob to ensure the many roles in the school are completed with both integrity and professionalism. Andrew remains a role model to us all.”