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Kirsty

Assistant Principal

Adelaide Botanic High School

Department for Education

Tell us about your career pathway.

I initially trained as an Accounting and Legal Studies teacher however, my interest and passion led me to specialise as a lead educator in the Psychology field. As the first recipient of the SA Public Education Secondary Teacher of the Year Award, I completed my Masters in Educational Psychology, Positive Behaviours and Leadership. The support and recognition I received as a quality teacher has enabled me to pursue leadership opportunities within government schools.

After ten years as a leader at Nuriootpa High School, I was appointed one of the Assistant Principals at Adelaide Botanic High School - an exciting place to be as we collaboratively re-define what contemporary education looks like in South Australia.

What does an average day look like?

My work includes strategic leadership planning, supporting students with additional learning needs, and working with support staff to ensure that all students have equal access to a quality education. Leadership in a school setting includes policy development which involves extensive consultation with our teaching staff, students and families.

What do you love about your job?

My personal mission statement is to ‘make a difference’ to students and teachers. I still love every minute of teaching in the classroom and watching students’ faces as they reach an ‘aha’ moment in their learning.

I also love collaborating with like-minded colleagues to research, develop and lead future-focused learning. Being at the forefront of contemporary education is an exciting space to work in.

Why do you do what you do?

Supporting secondary students to achieve a pathway beyond school is a critical role for teachers. I believe all young people are born to excel at something, and it’s a key component of my work to help them figure out what that something is.

Helping students develop a positive mindset that ‘if they believe in themselves, anything is possible’ is my favourite motto. As teachers, we play a critical role in building confidence in our students to embrace their future.

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

Working in the public sector has provided me with many opportunities to seek out quality training and development in educational best practice, and in leadership. There is a strong understanding within the public sector that a key role of leaders is to develop the next generation of young leaders. I have benefitted from this ideology, and thrive on the opportunity to mentor South Australia’s future educational leaders.

Why have you chosen to work in South Australia?

After living interstate for some years, family was a key drawcard to come back and live and work closer to home. Living in the beautiful Barossa Valley has enabled my children to grow into responsible young adults with a quality public education behind them. South Australia will always be home for our family with its fabulous bushwalks, amazing wine regions and cultural precincts – there are many opportunities to thrive and enjoy this wonderful State.

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