As a child of post World War II immigrants, Vicki Lavorato grew up with parents who valued education.
Years down the track the former principal makes her mark as an educator who inspires others to appreciate learning.
“My parents were highly intelligent and able people but they lacked education,” Dr Lavorato said.
“Their number one priority was that I would study hard and work hard.”
When the nuns from the Sisters of Charity offered support in the 1960s to enable her to attend a Catholic primary school, Mrs Lavorato’s parents agreed.
She takes the reins as Sydney Catholic Schools’ new regional director for the southern region of Sydney.
The role is a step up from her former six-year position as principal of Bethany College Hurstville.
Sydney Catholic Schools is responsible for the leadership of 152 systemic primary and secondary schools that educate more than 70,000 students.
Dr Lavorato said the growth of teaching and learning in the area was high.
“2017 saw our best NAPLAN results in literacy and numeracy growth and best results in the Higher School Certificate,” she said.
“High on my radar is making sure that we sustain and build upon that growth.
“The advantage of a regional office is ongoing support for schools irrespective of where they are on their school improvement journey.”
Dr Lavorato recently completed a PhD that researched how middle leadership positions in schools sustain school improvement.
“My research shows how important it is to share a common vision, and then to work hard at supporting the quality of professional learning in schools for teachers,” she said.
“I’m most excited about the opportunity to work with our schools in building teachers’ capacity and the quality of teaching and learning so that all students reach their potential.”