Hailing from the South Coast of New South Wales, Paul Rayner left the seaside city of Wollongong in 2012 to relocate to the Far North after an exciting opportunity to work in the Cairns Diocese. In 2015, he commenced in the role of Principal of St Augustine’s School, Mossman, a school he is proud to lead due its strong sense of community.
What do you hope to achieve in your role as principal?
Building a positive school community where student growth (personal and academic) is significant.
What makes you most proud to be the leader of your school community?
The increasing positivity and success that our school community is achieving by working together for our students.
What makes a great teacher?
So many things… initially a love and passion to work with children and to see every child to grow as individuals. Be planned, organised, and able to attend to statutory and compliance responsibilities. Work collegially with colleagues and the entire school community. A great teacher builds on all these relationships and delivers positive, challenging and rewarding learning experiences. All the while maintaining a professional disposition and retaining a sense of humour and humility.
How did your education shape you to be the person you are today?
Education – formal and informal – grows and shapes the individual. Without the educational journey I have traversed I would not be the person I am today. As a dose of wisdom, I would suggest one of the skills one needs to develop is the awareness of opportunities for learning and growth that appear out of nowhere. Embrace these educational opportunities even when they can be personally difficult and challenging. If one can do this, the potential to have a ‘full life education’ grows exponentially.
What motto, affirmation or prayer do you live by?
“Anything worth having can only be achieved through pain and sacrifice.”
What is the highlight of your career so far as principal?
Growing personally and professionally from my first Principal Appraisal process.
What do you think are the most important values a principal should uphold?
As a principal, leadership is not one of power, it is one of influence and service. If you can achieve this, you will value add to your school community and when the time to move on arrives you know you have been a positive contributor to the school community.
St Augustine’s is Catholic primary school in the Mercy tradition located in the picturesque town of Mossman. Find out more about St Augustine’s School, Mossman and how it is ‘Growing more than Minds’.