Good Counsel College Principal Cathy Barrett began her career in teaching in 1987 as a PE teacher, before teaching science and maths and later entering the Catholic system in 1995 – and never looking back! Her mother was a refugee from Latvia, giving her Latvian citizenship and she describes her three adult daughters as “the light of my life”. We learn more about the community-focused Innisfail college and Cathy’s goals as principal.
What do you hope to achieve in your role as principal?
I would like to learn as much as I can so that I can do a really good job. I hope to make a difference by being there and I hope that all staff and students have the opportunity to excel.
What makes you most proud to be the leader of your school community?
That’s easy, the students. The students at Good Counsel College are awesome. They are friendly, welcoming, strong social justice warriors and eager learners. I am proud of them all and hope that they are proud to be part of our community.
What makes a great teacher?
A great teacher is one who builds relationships with his or her students and then cares about the learning of each one. A great teacher never stops learning and is never satisfied with doing things the same way forever. A great teacher knows that what they do impacts on how students learn and takes feedback from their students to improve their craft. A great teacher loves kids!
How did your education shape you to be the person you are today?
I had great teachers! Grade five, nine, 11 and 12 stick in my mind. I loved school. I loved the community feel of it, so many people teaching you, your fellow students learning. I was blessed with great friends at school that I still call friends today. I also loved university. Teachers I have met in my career have also had a big impact on me as well as great principals who set wonderful goals and high expectations for me as a teacher.
What motto, affirmation or prayer do you live by?
Most lately I live by Mary Mackillop: “Never see a need without doing something about it”. I also love Alan Alda from M*A*S*H when he said, “Never let it be said that I didn’t do the least I could do”. But the final word goes to my dear old dad who used to say: “You can overdo these things you know?” You would be surprised how often that saying is relevant.
Find out more about Good Counsel College, Innisfail.