Today, former Denison College principal Craig Petersen commenced as the acting president of the NSW Secondary Principals’ Council (NSWSPC), succeeding the Council’s long-time president, Chris Presland, who has held the position since June 2016.
The NSWSPC, which represents over 500 principals of government high schools, central schools and schools for special purposes across the state, works closely with the Primary Principals’ Association to provide high level advice to the Department of Education and the Minister for Education.
Petersen, who will hold the position from the beginning of Term 3 until June 2020, steps into the role with more than 13 years’ experience as a principal, including five years as the deputy president of the NSWSPC.
“This broad range of experiences ensures that I can serve my colleagues in a strong and compassionate manner,” Petersen told The Educator.
“I am a consultative leader with high expectations.”
Petersen said that at a time when schools are under increasing pressure to meet an ever-expanding range of needs, it is critical that to a strong association to ensure that principals and teachers are supported as much as possible in delivering the highest quality education for all of our students, regardless of their family circumstances, cultural background or geographic location.
“Chris Presland has built upon the strong base of SPC leadership and consolidated our role, particularly in relation to leading professional learning and support for our colleagues,” Petersen said.
“I will be building on those relationships and ensuring that the voice of the profession is not just clearly heard but leads the conversations that must be had about education.”
Petersen said the greatest challenge of the state’s principals is to continue to build the status of the profession and to enhance confidence in public education.
“As a society, we must not take for granted the excellence of our schools and educators. We do so at our own peril,” Petersen said.
“I have been privileged to compare notes with colleagues in other jurisdictions in Australia and overseas, and each time I do, I invariably come away with increased confidence with our performance as educators.”
Petersen described the NSW education system as “world class”.
“The opportunity ahead is to build on our successes, gain the recognition that we deserve as outstanding educators and prepare our students for the increasingly complex world in which they will need to live and work,” he said.