Justine Williams is a principal who leads by example and along with her team, transformed a school into a loving place with a great atmosphere.
That's what Justine Williams and the staff at Lugarno Public School have done for the last four years according to the president of the P&C, Melissa Porter.
Mrs Williams is the first nominee for the 2021 Leader Champion Educator.
"Justine is a hands-on principal, she doesn't just stay in the office, she gets out and does playground duty, Justine knows the kids' names, she is excellent," Mrs Porter said.
"Justine's dedication to her role as school Principal was unwavering during 2020, which was such a challenging year. Whilst many students learnt from home Justine was still on site every day along with staff to ensure kids that needed were able to come to school.
"Under Justine's leadership staff produced amazing learn at home resources in a very short time frame, including videos of them doing various things including reading and maths, to maintain a connection between student and classroom. Staff also checked in with parents and students and quickly adapted to online teaching methods. Justine and her team continually updated parents.
"As parents, we can't ask for much more than that."
Mrs Porter says Mrs Williams deserves to be nominated as a Leader Champion Educator because her dedication has improved the community.
"Justine and the entire staff at Lugarno Public School have improved our local community by ensuring our children were able to continue to learn in 2020 and build resilience whilst having school as a constant in their lives," Mrs Porter said.
"With a strong focus on student wellbeing, the community will welcome the stars of the future who have had a well rounded and nurturing primary education.
"Justine and the staff were also very supportive of our first-ever outdoor community movie night held at the beginning of 2020, which was a lovely community event."
Mrs Williams said it was humbling to be recognised for her work by a parent.
"I am fortunate to have a strong and supportive parent community but the fact that someone has taken the time to do this, well, I am pretty chuffed actually," she said.
And what is Mrs Williams' education philosophy?
"I wouldn't expect my staff to do anything I wouldn't t do myself," she said.
"I lead by example and I expect to be visible. I want to be part of the learning journey for the students, staff and parents. I still teach I don't want to be the principal the kids only see if they are in trouble."
"I got into the profession to be an educator, so although I am the principal, I like to be the leading learner in the school and make sure I am highly visible to parents and students.
"It is a challenging time to be a school leader, but what the times have reiterated to me is that we should practice patience and empathy and be focused on building resilience in our students."
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