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, an R-12 co-educational Catholic school in the Marist tradition, deeply inspired by the method of College patron Joseph Cardijn with a foundation built on the three pillars of his teachings; to See, Judge and Act. Educating and inspiring students in the beautiful Southern Vales region of Adelaide since 1984, Cardijn has grown to encompass three schools, each with distinct offerings. Cardijn College Galilee at Aldinga offers Reception to Year 7, expanding to include Year 8 in 2022 and Year 9 in 2023. Cardijn College at Noarlunga Downs offers Years 7-12 and is renowned for academic excellence and a vibrant extra-curricular program. Cardijn College Marcellin at Christie Downs provides a wide variety of vocational education and training opportunities for students in Years 10 – 12 and beyond, with relationships that extend well into their careers. With a current enrolment of 1750 students and 240 staff, Cardijn College is an institution which strives to be a beacon of faith in the community, with students who have enormous influence and impact on both a local and global level. 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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