An ordinary person doing a not-so-ordinary job

The other day one of the prefects asked me what I do in my role as Principal at Nowra Anglican College. I don’t think I gave him an inspiring answer. In fact, I think I gave a pretty lame answer, describing some of the mundane things I do, rather than explaining the job I absolutely love.

Since then, I have been reflecting on that question. The answer I wish I had given is, my job is all about looking after people; looking after every student, every staff member and every family. Each day I have the opportunity to do so many different things that impact the lives of the students, staff and families at NAC. I do not consider myself to be anybody special to have ended up doing the job that I absolutely love, but I am incredibly thankful to be doing what I do. I believe we are all ordinary people placed in positions that God has called us to, and my view is we should do the best we can to achieve extraordinary things for those we serve.

I was taken by the words of Briony Scott, President of the Australian College of Educational Leaders.

“Society increasingly looks to our schools to be a lighthouse, to invest in our children. To foster, love, and educate them to be strong, responsible, kind, and capable adults. Schools are community hubs where families are known and loved, and where connection takes place.” (Scott, 2023)

So, what do I do as a Principal?

Every day I work on our three focus areas, including:

  • Nurturing our Christian community
  • Building powerful learners
  • Developing strategies to enhance the well-being and belonging for all members of our school community

Each of these three areas weaves together to create a holistic approach to the education of our children. Being a Principal involves speaking to individuals or groups about the latest innovations in learning. It requires advocating for students, families and the College. My role also involves designing and building new classrooms and playgrounds and representing the College at conferences or community meetings. More often, it is listening to our parents about their dreams for their children, their concerns for their learning and wellbeing, or listening to ideas about how we can make our school a better place.

Whatever the situation, I view every conversation, encounter,decision and problem as an opportunity to make someone’s life better.This can be difficult, particularly when you are dealing with some complex situations.

When I left my previous school, one of my friends gave me a wooden word that said ‘dream’. What is my dream for NAC? I want every child at NAC to love coming to school and for learning to be a joyful and engaging experience for everyone. We embrace every student that comes to our school, and welcome all abilities and backgrounds. I tell each young person that once they have chosen to come to our school they belong, they are part of our community upholding its standards of behaviour, they are capable of learning, they are loved and valued by God and us.

I count it as an immense privilege to lead a school and I hope that you have that sense of connection and belonging as a member of our school community. If you feel you are missing that connection, I encourage you to reach out to me. I am always willing to listen.

So, the next time someone asks me what I do in my role as Principal, I will tell them that I am just an ordinary person who looks after people, in a not-so-ordinary job.

Mrs Lorrae Sampson

“Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.”

Psalm 139:16

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