Celebrated principal announces resignation

Celebrated principal announces resignation

St Rita’s College Clayfield principal, Dale Morrow, has announced her decision to step down at the end of the 2023 school year after 15 years in the job.

An educator of the highest calibre, Morrow has twice been awarded an ACEL Fellowship in 2020 and 2022 and has served as an advisor to the Australian Government Education Workforce Roundtable, as well as Chair of the Education Committee for Religious Institute schools.

Morrow has steered many changes at the College both in resources and educational development, with her most recent achievement being the reintroduction of Primary Years into the College – an opportunity that other Catholic girls’ schools are now embracing.

College Board Chair, Graham McManus, said that the “dynamic leader’s greatest motivation has always been the welfare of students and the ability for all to follow their goals whatever they may be.”

He added that Morrow had “demonstrated a clear commitment to the Presentation ideal of empower young people through education and challenges the students to be strong leaders in the community”.

The College Board has commenced the recruitment process for Morrow’s replacement, engaging an education executive search organisation to ensure the highest quality candidates are sourced.

'It's time for new ideas under new leadership'

In an interview with The Educator following the announcement, Morrow said "it is time for St Rita’s "to experience some new ideas under new leadership".

"Staff and students at the College have been fully supportive of our vision of ensuring excellence in all parts of our lives. Our motto, “Action Not Words”, has formed the basis of how we contribute to the world," Morrow told The Educator.

"I am extremely proud of our young people and know the future is in good hands as they take their place in every part of society."

Reflecting on her time as a school leader, Morrow said the role of principal has changed over the past 15 years, with "compliance and governance taking up a large part of what a principal must do."

"As technology changes with the rise of developments such as Artificial Intelligence and a 'learn anywhere, anytime' mindset,  traditional ways of learning will be challenged and leaders will need to navigate this changing landscape with competence and care," Morrow said.

"Wellbeing for both students and staff has also become a much-needed focus in the past five years. Teachers and non-teaching staff are committed to ensuring our next generation is supported as they develop their character and travel through the challenges of adolescence."

Students now navigating 'fastest pace of change in history'

Morrow said pressures from social media have greatly affected the wellbeing of young people, who "must learn to steer the fastest pace of change in our history."

"The recent pandemic has encouraged many of us to rethink our values, and has caused all of us to think about what we want our educational institutions and workplaces to value," she said.

"As a Catholic school our values are based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, which encourage us to love one another and to make the world a more just place."

Morrow said these values have not changed and provide "the bedrock for a modern education".

"I would encourage society at large to value the work of our educationalists as they journey with our younger generations to traverse a largely unknown world."