Last week was the school’s sixty-fourth birthday, and on Founder’s Day every year, our school representatives lead the assembly and remind us how far we have come as a school. One of the things they mentioned was all the previous principals this school has had over the years.
This is when I am reminded that I am one of only five principals who have lead this amazing institution through its history. Five principals in sixty-four years, you ask? Averaged, that is almost thirteen years for each term of office.
I have been principal at Pinelands North for fifteen years and I can’t imagine being anywhere else! Let me tell you why……
Our school draws amazing families from all over the peninsula – families who come to interviews and tell me why they could never imagine their children anywhere else. We are truly an integrated society of wealthy and poor, of all religions and races, who have learnt that by their children living and working side by side, they learn to live in peace too.
Our school governors commit themselves to hard work every three years, particularly in the finance department. Because of astute management in the past, and constant vigilance, our finances are healthy, and we are able to plan for the future, and carry out extensions to buildings and buy new equipment when necessary.
Our children are taught and disciplined gently, at school and at home, and so they learn that you can live ‘gently’ in the world. This gentle way of living only becomes obvious when new children join us in the older grades – these new pupils stand out because they react so differently in conflict situations initially. I therefore seldom have to be the ‘bad wolf’.
Our staff are exceptional! Any new opening results in many applications because, in education fields, our school is known to grow people. Expectations are high but so is performance! Our staff engage in professional development throughout the year, often during holidays and weekends, so they are at the cutting edge of new education thought. Departmental officials know that if they want a new theory piloted, Pinelands North is a good school to use.
Our campus is small but well utilized. Our children have spacious classrooms, fields and a pool, a brand new aftercare centre and an environmentally friendly playground.
Indigenous gardens surround the buildings and our school ducks roam unhindered.
Few principals could say that they love their jobs – I can say honestly that I love mine every day of the year!