Our first Principal Profile of 2021 is Michael Rowe, Principal of St Rita’s School, Babinda. Mr Rowe talks about his vision for St Rita’s, reflects on his own childhood education and explains how sport brought him out of his shell.
What do you hope to achieve in your role as principal?
I hope to continue to grow St Rita’s and its reputation as a place that provides a first-class Catholic education for every child who attends. I’d like it to be a collaborative learning environment where every kid runs in the school gate each morning, eager and excited for the day ahead, with the learning so engaging and interactive that they don’t want to leave at the end of the day.
What makes you most proud to be the leader of your school community?
It makes me proud that our school has such a wonderful reputation in our community and that the learning and wellbeing of our students is at the forefront of all we do.
What were you like as a child? Did you have any passions or hobbies?
As a child I was very shy and started my first day of school with my head up my Dad’s jumper so I didn’t have to look at the teacher, who was trying to engage me in conversation. Sport was very much the vehicle that brought me out of my shell and I was involved in swimming, cricket, tennis, basketball and of course, being a Victorian, my favourite was Aussie Rules Footy which I still play today. My parents valued education and pushed me to complete my schooling and degree.
Try everything, never let a fear of failure stop you from pursuing new opportunities.
If you could give any advice to your childhood self, what would you say?
Try everything, never let a fear of failure stop you from pursuing new opportunities. Stay true to yourself and your beliefs and don’t waste time worrying about what other people might think.
How did your education shape you to be the person you are today?
I was very fortunate to have two excellent male teachers later in primary school, Mr Murray and Mr Leneghan. They both took the time to get to know me both as a person and a learner. They would both provide both encouragement and challenge and were ahead of their time in making learning interest-based, where possible. They were excellent story tellers and terrific role-models for me. Without them I doubt I would’ve gone and studied primary teaching.
What motto, affirmation or prayer do you live by?
I have two favourite mottos: ‘Get comfortable being uncomfortable’ and ‘Bite off more than you can chew, then chew like crazy’.
What is the highlight of your career so far?
The highlight of my career is being Principal of the fastest growing school in the Cairns Diocese!
Find out more about St Rita’s School, Babinda