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Each week, Education World profiles a different school principal or assistant principal. His or her responses offer insight into what a school administrator's day is like and the special challenges school leaders face.


Principal Profile: All About Chris Dunning


Chris Dunning Your School:
St. Brigid's School, a K-7 school in Collie, Western Australia (183 students)

Education experience:
I spent 15 years as a classroom teacher and five years as a principal.

What is the biggest challenge you face this school year?
The biggest challenge I currently face is helping my teachers develop skills in areas that they are not comfortable, such as computer integration.

What is your education motto?
Happy Teachers, Happy Children, Happy Parents, Happy Principal!

If you have a bad day, what is it that gets you out the door and off to work then next morning?
I know that when I get to work, each day will be different and something will usually happen that puts a smile on my face.

Who most influenced your decision to become an educator?
My two older sisters are teachers. I learned about their experiences, which made me want to be part of this wonderful profession.

What does your work contribute to society?
Hopefully, my work prepares young minds to handle the pressures of the world and enables them to contribute to society.

What is the most important quality of a strong school leader?
A strong school leader must have the ability to listen and take on board the issues of the person he or she is working with at that time.

If you could have a different career, what would that be?
I would have worked in radio as a disc jockey.

If you're having a good day at work, what makes it good?
Having children visit to show me their great work and hearing their happy "hellos" when I am on the playground.

What special thing do you do that you think all principals should do?
When reports are due, I instruct lessons for teachers to give them some extra time to write their documents.

How do you motivate your staff to go above-and-beyond?
I give the staff support whenever possible, cook them breakfast a couple of times a year, and send them to professional development programs whenever the budget allows.

Would you recommend the principalship as a career?
Yes, without a doubt!