It is with great sadness that I write to reflect on the life of our much loved Business Manager, Mel Burton. Mel was just 32 when she was suddenly taken from us in the early hours of Sunday morning. She spent almost all her working life here at Drysdale Primary. She started here as a trainee in the school office and quickly moved to supporting the Business Manager. When the Business Manager position became available Mel’s natural ability and warm personality made her the obvious choice to take on the position despite this senior role normally falling to someone with much greater experience.
For Principals the Business Manager sits alongside the Assistant Principals as part of a senior leadership group on whom we rely completely. Mel’s astute understanding of finances and people meant that the advice she offered was relevant, perceptive and confidential. A school cannot improve unless it makes the best and most efficient use possible of the tax payer’s money. Drysdale Primary School’s financial management has always been exemplary and our ability to offer the best possible education to the children significantly enhanced as a result.
Mel worked unswervingly for the benefit of the school well beyond the role of Business Manager. She was a staff member on the School Council and a member of our Spring Fair committee helping to establish the fair. Mel was also a much loved colleague to all staff here at DPS. Mel loved to have a joke with the office team, enjoy a catch up over coffee or share the latest cute pictures of Mack.
For me Mel was the first person in the Drysdale community with whom I had contact as part of the process of applying to be principal. She immediately provided a warmth and a professional response that spoke volumes about the school community. In the five and half years of working together we have celebrated her marriage to James, her birthdays and her becoming a mum to Mack. She has always looked out for other people and put them ahead of herself. I feel immensely privileged to have known her as a colleague and a friend.
As a school community we are devastated to have lost her. Our thoughts and prayers are with James, Mack, her parents and brothers.
Melanie’s funeral will be held at The Wave Church in Ocean Grove at 11 a.m. on Friday June 15th. The school’s staff would like to attend to be able to farewell our friend and colleague. However there is no provision for schools to close in these circumstances. Please can I request the support of our community in making arrangements for our beautiful students to stay at home on that Friday. If you are really unable to make alternative arrangements, and I do understand that this will be necessary for some families, please can you let the office know. We will need to approach other schools to borrow one or more of their teachers as there will be no Drysdale Primary staff here on site. To do this effectively I do need to know how many of our students will be here.
I would like to acknowledge the practical support and messages of condolence we have received from so many of our wonderful parents. This is a very difficult time for us as a school. I know that we would have struggled to get through yesterday even more than we did without a number of parents stepping in to help in the office and in classrooms. Thank you also for all the incredible food and flowers dropped into the staffroom. This goes a long way to supporting people through a very challenging time. We are deeply appreciative of the time and thoughtfulness you have all shown.
In discussion with the funeral director we have decided to use the e tribute page that has been set up rather than having a separate condolences book at school. Anyone who wishes to leave a tribute or message can access this e tribute page by following this link: http://www.kingsfunerals.com.au/etributes/melanie-burton/
Queen’s Birthday Public Holiday
Please remember that Monday June 11th is a public holiday which means that the school will be officially closed for students and staff.