HE has worn the hats of councillor and dairy farmer and yesterday Jim Doukas also tried headmaster on for size.
The Moyne Shire mayor took the helm of Warrnambool College as part of the Australian Council for Educational Research’s Principal for a Day program.
The annual event invites community leaders into schools in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland to forge partnerships and gain insight into educational processes.
Cr Doukas shadowed Warrnambool College principal Mary Pendergast throughout the day, gaining an insight into her broad spectrum of duties.
Visiting classes, including year 7 electronics and year 11 and 12 Indonesian language studies, was on the agenda, plus discussions about finance, discipline, curriculum and infrastructure.
Ms Pendergast praised the initiative, saying it acted to “debunk the myth” surrounding principals and their extensive commitments.
“It’s good for people to see what it’s like to be in the role I’m in,” she said.
“People often have a perception of what the role entails ... (and) can be surprised to see what we do.
“Government school principals are often an easy target to blame, especially with the expectations on education these days,” she said.
Cr Doukas said he had noticed the relationship a principal shared with their students was more social than when he was at school.
“You only saw the principal on a special occasion or if something bad happened,” he said. Cr Doukas, who attended high school in Warrnambool and described himself as “the world’s worst student”, also said class time seemed more engaging.
“School is vastly different from what I remember,” he said. Moyne Shire councillor and Port Fairy police sergeant Mick Wolfe also took part in the program, acting as principal at Warrnambool East Primary School.