The latest Principal Profile stars Lea Martin, principal of St Gerard Majella, a co-educational Catholic primary school in the Cairns southern suburb of Woree. Lea is a former teacher, a mother and a qualified paramedic with three master’s degrees and a career in education spanning more than three decades. We spent five minutes chatting to Lea about her past, what makes her most proud of being the leader of her school community and what she hopes to achieve as principal of St Gerard Majella.
How did your education shape you to be the person you are today?
I went to a Catholic primary and secondary school within the Josephite tradition of Mary MacKillop. I believe strongly in inclusion for all and having compassion for those in need. I was also fortunate enough to have teachers who cared about each individual and challenged me to be the best that I could be. I am also shaped by my years of teaching experience and I continue to learn and grow, hopefully becoming an even better school leader.
What do you hope to achieve in your role as principal?
I hope to make a difference in the lives of the children and families in our school community by providing a safe and supportive learning environment where children feel welcome and at home.
What makes you most proud to be the leader of your school community?
The beautiful students, wonderful families and amazing staff. Our school has an outstanding Catholic ethos and strives to live out the gospel values of faith, compassion, inclusion, justice and respect. Our community really cares about social justice and supporting others in need.
What makes a great teacher?
A great teacher cares about the individual needs of their students and supports their social emotional wellbeing. They strive to make learning fun and exciting and assist students to achieve to the best of their ability.
What motto, affirmation or prayer do you live by?
I love the Serenity Prayer – God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
What is the highlight of your career so far as principal?
This is a really hard question. I have many highlights and they all revolve around students achieving to their best and having fun with their learning. I enjoy seeing children happy and engaged in school.
What do you think are the most important values a principal should uphold?
It is really important to me to care for individuals and families, particularly in times of need. I hope that I can always be present for members of our school community: children, parents and staff. I believe in fairness and fun – school should be an enjoyable place for everyone and I hope that we can make positive memories for the children in our care.
Find out more about St Gerard Majella, Woree.