|Caption: New principal at Emmaus Catholic College Robert Nastasi, with Rosemaree Marsh, Library Assistant, and Stephen Roberts - Director of Wellbeing
The role of principal is a challenging job and the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta (CEDP) is boosting its support through innovative programs that aim to improve the wellbeing and safety of our school leaders.
Support measures include:
- Beginning Principal mentoring program - in its seventh year, this plan involves pairing a new principal with a more senior colleague in order to share experiences. The principals and their mentors come together as a group several times throughout the year to learn together. They also make reciprocal visits sitting in on parent and student meetings and offer advice to improve performance.
- Weekly “Sunrise Meetings” with Executive Director Greg Whitby - involves a video conference of four principals who share their plans for the week, seek feedback and work collaboratively to improve outcomes.
- The Big Day Out - a major event that kicks off the school year and is attended by senior representatives from all 79 schools. Special presentations are made by guest speakers.
- Principal ‘Master Classes’ - an annual gathering of all principals that provide opportunities to learn from one another and get updates on innovative leadership practices.
- Principals’ meetings with Directors Performance and other System Learning Leaders.
- Cluster groups of 4 schools in which principals and key school leaders conduct peer reviews of each other’s work.
- Support from the Student Services Team which comprises Learning Support specialists, student behaviour specialists, school counsellors and many other specialists, and
- Principal Association gatherings for both high school and primary school leaders - that provide further networking opportunities
Counselling and other personalised support services, as required.
CEDP Executive Director Greg Whitby said the innovative support measures for principals are part of holistic approach is needed to help not only school leaders, but students and families, too.
“We create the safest possible environment for principals by taking holistic approach that deals with the wellbeing of everyone at the school,” Mr Whitby said.
“If we can create a safe place at school and help address family problems outside of school then you don’t have issues arising.”
The new principal at Emmaus Catholic College Robert Nastasi said he loves his job, and enjoys the constant support he receives in order to do his best work.
“I just love serving the community, and in my 30 years in the Catholic education system I have never felt threatened. Sure there are always challenges with students and parents, but at the end of the day it’s always about the students,” he said.