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Each week, Education World profiles a different school principal. His or her responses offer insight into what it takes to be a principal, what a principal's day is like, and the special challenges a principal faces.


Principal Profile: All About Greg Robinson


Image Your school:
Ginninderra District High School, a [grade] 7-10 school in Canberra, Australia (360 students).

Number of years in that position:
Six years.

Your education experience
I was a classroom teacher for 12 years, head of faculty for six years, and deputy principal for six years.

How did you get your current job?
I progressed through a merit-based system.

What is the biggest challenge you will face this school year?

Keeping up enrollments.

If you have one of those days when you don't think you can face the job again, what is it that gets you out the door and off to work the next morning?
I can't let down my staff. ... I also need to be seen by the students as being the school leader. They need me as well.

What is an unforgivable trait in a colleague?
Saying that it can't be done. Not being prepared to give it a go.

What do you do to relieve stress?
At the age of 52 I am still a keen surfer. I also spend time in the garden and I spend all my spare time with my spouse. We like to travel a lot.

If you could have a different career, what would that be?
I would like to operate a bed and breakfast establishment on the coast, close to a good surfing break.

What have you been reading lately?
Returning to Nothing: The Meaning of Lost Places, by Peter Read. It is an Australian book about the experiences of people who have seen their towns [and] their birthplaces disappear because of progress, mining, urban expansion, and disaster.

If you're having a good day at work, what makes it good?
Students show me their work and say that they are really enjoying school or the staff is really excited about a new project.