Top mark for tradition

By Jennifer Kent

IT’S a special day in any child’s (and parent’s) life – the first day of school! And for Liliana Pierantozzi and her family, the start of her schooling years is even more meaningful as she is the fifth generation in her family to attend Beerwah State School. 

Lili’s dad, Scott Pierantozzi, her grammy Heather Pierantozzi, great grandfather William Raddatz and her great great grandfather, also named William Raddatz (who was a foundation student in 1888), all attended the school before her. William went on to marry fellow foundation student Kathryn Blair.

Understandably, Lili’s “excite-nerves” had been creeping up over the last few weeks, sharing her excitement about meeting her teachers and making friends as she started Prep last week. Her excitement is shared by her family, especially her Grammy, Heather. 

“It’s pretty special for one family to stay in the area for so long and it’s really special for Lili to be able to go to the same school as the generations before her,” Heather said. 

“Lili’s great great grandfather, William Raddatz, was in fact one of the school’s foundation students. He started at the school in 1888.

Beerwah State School opened in 1888 as Coochin Creek Provisional School. The school then became a State School as of January 1, 1909, later becoming known as Beerwah State School in 1928.

While the town of Beerwah – and indeed the school itself – has changed significantly over the years, the school remains at the centre of the community, with Heather sharing she still keeps in contact with her children’s teachers and recognises there are many special family names prevalent in the town. 

“I’ve seen a lot of changes in the town over the years… moving from timber to farming… farmland making way to development… I remember the pineapple farm in the middle of town…But it’s still the same town and the same school.”

Heather’s son Scott started at the centenary of the school, with Heather recalling with fondness being involved in many fun celebrations that year. 

And the family hope Lili enjoys many fun celebrations throughout while she attends Beerwah State School

“We just hope she enjoys school. There’s so much there for them to learn and experience. I started with a slate, how things have changed!” Heather laughed.