Lescha Joseph Coory was described as a “concerned, perceptive and compassionate” principal. PIC: Contributed
Lescha Joseph Coory was described as a “concerned, perceptive and compassionate” principal. PIC: Contributed

Former CQ special school principal dies aged 90

The former president of the Queensland Special School Principal's Association who founded at least three schools and led the way for significant change in the special education sector, has died.

Lescha Joseph Coory has been remembered for his tireless commitment to special education and for breaking down bureaucracy and combating inefficiency in special schools.

He died at the age of 90 on March 26.

His son Damian Coory said his father had led seven special schools, including one in Central Queensland.

They included schools in Sandgate (1960-1962), Rockhampton (1963-1965), Redcliffe (1966), Buranda (1967-1972), Woodridge (1973), Inala (1974-80), and the State School for Spastic Children (1981-1986, now New Farm Special Education Development Unit).

"He served as Inspector of Schools, Special Education from 1987 through to his retirement," Damian said.

Lescha Joseph Coory was described as a 'concerned, perceptive and compassionate' principal. PIC: Contributed
Lescha Joseph Coory was described as a 'concerned, perceptive and compassionate' principal. PIC: Contributed

 

Lescha was appointed Inspector of Schools (Special Education) in 1986, and served three terms as Queensland Special School Principal's Association and one as vice-president.

The State School for Spastic Children was chosen as a case study for a report to the Commonwealth Schools Commission in 1985, and the author wrote that Lescha was an "impressive" man.

"His fairness, his capacity to care, to work hard to confront bureaucrats and organisations which stand in the way of the educational work of his school, have made him a respected and successful leader," the author wrote.

Then principal education officer for Special Education Services Mr L.A. "Dick" Vidler, then Principal Education Officer in 1986 described Lescha as "concerned, perceptive and passionate."

"Mr Coory is a teacher with special qualities and he cares for people," Mr Vidler wrote.

"He is prepared to give his own time to problem solving with students, teachers, parents and community groups.

"He is an active and influential advocate for special education and has gained respect as a strong advocate for collegial support."

Lescha's funeral will be held on Wednesday morning, March 31.

Further details will be posted in the Courier-Mail on March 30.


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