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Josh

Principal

Warradale Primary School

Department for Education

Tell us about your career pathway.

Having grandparents as career educators in the public education system is something I have always valued and respected. My own positive experiences as a South Australian public school student have also significantly influenced my career pathway.

I completed a Bachelor of Health Sciences at Adelaide University before gaining a Bachelor of Education (Middle Schooling) at Flinders University.

After receiving my Education degree, I accepted a position as a middle school Science/Maths teacher at an area school in the Murray Mallee. Here, I won my first leadership role as a Secondary Coordinator, a position that gave me fantastic insight into whole-school operations and the importance of strong school-community partnerships.

As a Senior Leader and Deputy Principal at Woodcroft Primary School for over nine years, I gained extensive experience in student support and wellbeing, along with the operational facets of school life. I have now taken the next step and am the Principal of Warradale Primary School.

In my career I’ve been able to undertake new experiences, such as recently completing a six-month secondment to a Business Partner position in the Department. This involved leading a small team in supporting over 100 sites with their human resourcing needs. This role complemented my other professional experiences and helped me to better understand myself as an educator, learner and leader in the public sector.

What does an average day look like?

My role as a primary school site leader is dynamic and often unpredictable. Responsibilities typically include the strategic management of whole-school priorities, resourcing and programs – the most important element is the delivery of high quality teaching and learning to every student at our school, every day.

I work collaboratively with students, teaching and ancillary staff, governing council members, local partnership sites, and regional and departmental support staff, to ensure a shared commitment to ongoing learning improvement and public sector objectives.

A big challenge is balancing my role as a lead learner with administrative responsibilities and demands. I make every effort to spend as much time as possible in classrooms each day, learning side-by-side with students and staff.

What do you love about your job?

I love the exciting and varied nature of the job and the fact that every student and every day is different.

Building capacity in others is also something I really enjoy. Helping students and families overcome complex social and personal challenges to achieve things they didn’t believe possible is extremely gratifying, as is supporting committed and passionate educators to fulfil their potential, both personally and professionally.

Why do you do what you do?

I am an unashamed advocate of a strong public education system. I love making learning fun. I want the schools in which I work to be safe and enjoyable places to learn and work, based on mutual respect and an aspirational vision shared by all.

What do you see are some of the benefits of working in the public sector?

Working in the public sector provides me with the opportunity to build a skillset and career that positively influences other South Australians. The professional development and support I have access to within our public sector is world class. I believe the experience and knowledge I continue to acquire in my work is equal to, if not exceeds, anything I would be exposed to in private enterprise.

Why have you chosen to work in South Australia?

I firmly believe that education is a basic human right and teaching in the South Australian Public Sector affords me a privileged opportunity to make a positive difference for hundreds of students, staff and families in our great state, every day.

I am a proud South Australian who has been shaped and influenced by the values and support of the South Australian public school system, and I couldn’t think of a better place to live with my family and raise my two daughters.

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