Principal of two schools?

In my travels, I am often asked by people how I manage to be principal of two schools. In many ways, I see myself as principal of one school with two campuses. I am deeply committed to bringing the best possible Catholic educational outcomes for our students and in so doing I love every minute of being principal. I am very blessed to have outstanding staff at both the Marcellin and Cardijn campus. I have always been a great advocate for distributive leadership, which means empowering staff to take leadership responsibility and make decisions at the local level. This is established through a high degree of trust and confidence in all leaders and staff at both schools.

The role of the principal is unique to our location, in my role I have an outstanding leadership team who look after the operational management of two schools. This allows me to focus on the strategic issues of our community and that of Catholic Education SA. In the next 12 months, the College Board will be involved in developing our next strategic plan which will focus on 2018-2025. This will involve an extensive consultation with the staff, parents, students and major community and industry stakeholders. Our aspiration as a combined community (Cardijn and Marcellin) is to provide extensive pathways and options in senior schooling and beyond, leading to University, TAFE, further training, apprenticeships, traineeships and jobs. We are deeply committed to establishing the best middle schooling learning experience, where students continue to be inspired by new learning opportunities, to wonder and be creative, to explore and be challenged, all supported by outstanding pastoral care. Ultimately, we want to live up to the challenge from Joseph Cardijn that “young people can change the world!”.

Our enrolment for Year 8 and Year 7 in 2019 is well on the way. We have several principal tours and Q & A sessions available for prospective and current families. Shortly we will release our FAQs for Year 7 entry to Cardijn in 2017. Many families have lots of questions and we are looking forward to sharing this with you in the next week.

Dr Paul Rijken is principal of Cardijn College, a Catholic secondary co-educational school (7-12) in the southern region of Adelaide with a total of 1120 students and 140 staff. Marcellin is a campus of Cardijn College. It provides students in Years 10 to 12 with SACE, training and apprenticeships. It has an enrolment of over 155 students and 30 staff. Paul has been the principal at Cardijn College since 2005. He has a Ph.D. from Curtin University in Science and Mathematics Education. He is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educational Leaders.

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