Courtesy of Augusta Margaret River Mail 07 Mar, 2012 Founding parents and pupils returned from as far away as Victoria on Saturday to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Margaret River Independent School. After more than a year of planning by about 10 families from the Margaret River region, the school began operating in February, 1982, as the Nyindamurra Family School, with 15 students aged from 4 to 8 and one teacher.One of the original parents, Cr Lyn Serventy, said like-minded “new age” people came to Margaret River in the 70s and wanted their children to have a “new education”. Another original parent, Chaz Garnett-Botfield who returned from the Victorian Surf Coast for the anniversary, recalled that first teacher Fran Covell, who got the school registered, was paid $100 a week, all the home-grown fruit and vegetables she could eat and provided with petrol for her car which was used as the school bus. “At one stage, the entire school could fit in Fran’s VW Beetle,” he joked. The following year principal Wendy Roediger joined, along with a qualified pre-school teacher. In 1985 the school expanded with some of the buildings it now occupies, the old Catholic church now the school library and year 2/3 classroom, a rammed earth classroom and a stone art room became the hub of the school. Other additions to follow were a pre-school building and playground and three new classrooms for years 1-7. The school now has 105 students, from kindergarten to year 7. There are five classrooms, an administration building, an art/science room and a performing arts centre. Apart from Ms Roediger, art teacher Maree Norris-Mohn goes back almost to the start, senior teacher Gus Barker has been with the school for more than 13 years, and music/drama teacher Pam Tuffin also has a long association. Saturday’s celebration took the form of an afternoon get-together, followed by supper and live music.