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Joys and Challenges of being a Foundation Principal

Posted on 20 February 2017
Joys and Challenges of being a Foundation Principal

John Murphy is one of a select band of principals that have been appointed as foundation principals of a Catholic College. From a greenfields site in a developing area of Australia, these principals are present at [ and help shape ] the birth of a school that will educate generations of students.

CaSPA congratulates John on his appointment and wish him every blessing for the exciting journey ahead.

John has kindly provided the following reflection for his CaSPA Colleagues:

My name is John Murphy and I am a newly appointed Foundation Principal at a new Catholic Secondary Co-educational school, St Bede's Catholic College Chisholm, that will commence next year with Year 7.  Chisholm is one of a number of new suburbs within the Maitland region that has opened in recent years.   The school will grow one-year group at a time before the first cohort graduates in 2013, where the school population is expected to be approximately 1,100 students.  A primary school, St Aloysius, next to the building site opened a couple of years ago and is rapidly expanding in numbers.  Demand for Catholic education in the region has necessitated the expansion of existing schools and the opening of new schools.  St Bede's will be first of a few schools to open, with the last new Catholic Secondary School in the region having opened back in 1984.

My previous role was Deputy Headmaster at St Patrick's College in Sydney for a number of years before stepping into the Acting Headmaster's role for all of last year.  In accepting this new position, I am commuting back to Sydney most week-ends to be wife Linda and two adult children, James and Emma.  I am currently living in a leased house which is acting as both a work area and home accommodation.  I have been teaching since 1984 and love new challenges which is why I left a school that I attended as a student and loved to setting up a new school that will I hope will become a lighthouse in contemporary learning.  There will be four stages in the construction of the school site with all four building linked with a large open walkway that will be conducive to project based learning.  Additionally, an on-site chapel will be built.

I look forward to sharing the progress of this new school and will be welcoming of visitors in the future.

Tags: Catholic Secondary Principals Australia

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