Verney Road is a vibrant school of 195 students and 68 dedicated staff who work tirelessly to progress the whole child. The explicit teaching of Literacy and Numeracy are key priorities as are the development of independent living and learning skills. The Arts and Health & Physical Education are an integral part of the curriculum. Students attend VRS from 3 years of age in Early Education up to 18 years in VCAL (Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning).

Leadership Team

Janet Gill Kirkman, Principal
Janet is an experienced principal who led Gowrie St Primary School in Shepparton for seven years from 2001 -2008. From then she became a Regional Principal responsible for large groups of schools firstly in the Seymour, Benalla area and in recent years in the Greater Shepparton area. Now as a Liaison Principal she is leading Verney Road Special School as of Term 2, 2013.

Janet is married to Greg with four adult children. She has a long sporting history of netball and basketball, representing country Victoria in both sports. Her coaching career spans 30 years. Now she is into walking, bike riding and golf.

Janet has a Masters of Leadership with a Literacy specialism and is really enjoying the change and challenge of Specialist School education.

Angela Buxton, Assistant Principal

Angela is new to Verney Road in 2017 taking on the Assistant Principal position following Prue’s retirement. Starting out as a secondary teacher, Angela always had a passion for special education. She was able to pursue this by completing extra training that led to completion of a Masters of Education specialising in teaching children with Autism. Angela has been a principal in the Shepparton area area over the last five years and is really looking forward to the challenge her new role offers.
Angela has two boys, the eldest lives in Melbourne and the younger completed Year Twelve in 2016. She loves spending times on weekends catching up with friends especially down at the beach or on the Murray.

Janine Thorne, Senior Years Coordinator
Janine has been a member of the Verney Road School for many years. She has held positions of specialist teacher, classroom teacher  and Unit Leader. She is passionate about developing career pathways and providing purposeful learning for all students.

Janine is married to Phillip with three children. She enjoys cricket, football and family time.


Francesca Ahearn, Middle Years Coordinator

Francesca has been at Verney Road School since 2013. After a brief amount of time in Senior Years, she has spent most of her time teaching in Early Years. In 2019 Francesca moved to Middle Years and commenced Acting Unit Leader role while also continuing to classroom teach for three days a week. Francesca is currently studying her Masters of Applied Behaviour Analysis and is passionate about Positive Behaviour Support.
In her spare time she likes to teach group fitness classes, play netball and adventure outdoors!


Colette Burgemeister, Middle Years Coordinator

Colette has been teaching for 30 years, the last 7 of which she has spent at Verney Road in the Middle Years area. Colette has a special interest in the area of autism and education. She completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Reading (Autism Spectrum Disorders). She then went on to complete a Masters in Education.

Colette is married to Mark and they have two adult sons. Colette’s interests are travelling, reading, cooking and catching up with close friends.


Kylie Freeman, Early Years Coordinator

Kylie has been teaching for 20 years and has been at Verney Road School since 1999. In 2017 she began leading the Early Years unit where she now teaches throughout the week and is passionate about giving students the best possible opportunities to begin their education at Verney Road School.

Kylie is married to Glenn and has 2 children. Kylie loves most sports (except for wrestling!) and has a special interest in horses.

Contact Us

Phone: (03) 5821 8185 Address: 2 Verney Rd Shepparton, VIC, 3630