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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 Graeme Lane


Image Your school:
Balwyn North Primary School, a P-6 school in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (552 students).

Number of years in that position:
8 years.

Your education experience:
Eight years as a classroom teacher, two years as an education consultant, and seven years as a principal at a previous school.

Do you expect to finish your working life in this career?
I love my job. I can't think of anything I would prefer to do. I have held district-level positions, but I find they lack the immediacy and dynamism of a school.

What is your education mission?
To provide active, enjoyable, and effective learning in an innovative, vibrant, and challenging educational environment.

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?
The smiles on the faces of the children each day!

Who or what most influenced your decision to become an educator?
A friend of my father's, who was a primary school principal, convinced me that I should try teaching. I was headed for law. I don't regret the decision.

What does your work contribute to society?
I believe that schools are about creating the future. As primary educators, we all do our utmost to produce happy and productive people.

What do you do to relieve stress?
Currently, my son and I are restoring a 1964 Holden panel van. This is a great opportunity to hit an inanimate object. The car, not my son!

What are the most important qualities of a strong school leader?
Compassion. And a good sense of humor.

What have you been reading lately?
Professionally, Peter Senge's Schools That Learn. Recreationally, Terry Pratchett's Thief of Time. It's great escapist humor!