Jeanette Fowles, admired Principal at Holy Cross Catholic Primary School Kincumber departs Catholic Schools Broken Bay at the end of this Term to embark on her next adventure, closer to home, in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.
She’s an inspirational leader, a committed educator, and a compassionate and engaged Principal, who’s been an anchor of equanimity for her school communities throughout challenging and uncertain times. We want to thank her and take the opportunity to reflect on her journey as a Teacher and Principal within the Diocese of Broken Bay for the last 22 years.
What took you into teaching?
I’ve always had a love of learning, which is very fortunate because I’ve now been teaching for over 30 years. Children are naturally inquisitive, and I adore the curiosity that children bring to all situations every day. Being part of a community of teachers, parents, and carers, that serve and nurture the whole of a child is a really privileged role to have.
How long have you been a School Principal?
This is my seventh year as a Principal, after four years at St Bernard’s Berowra and three years at Holy Cross Kincumber.
How many of those years have been working within a CSBB school?
I’ve worked within CSBB for 22 years. Starting as a teacher, then moving into learning support as I have a Master’s in Special Education, and then moving into Principalship while continuing to teach. My adventurous spirit has taken me to many schools across the North Shore and Central Coast. I’ve enjoyed all of them because each one has pushed me outside of my comfort zone. I have learnt in those moments that it’s just a new challenge, the feeling will pass, and I will learn from the opportunity.
What’s your greatest contribution as a leader?
I feel one of my greatest contributions as a leader is having faith in my team. Being able to collaborate and partner with people to bring out the best in them for the benefit of our school community. I don’t see myself as the keeper of knowledge, but as part of the knowledge team – one part of the much bigger puzzle!
What are you most grateful for in your work?
What I love is being with children and seeing them grow into their own individual personalities. It’s always been about the children and making a positive difference for them.
Some of what our staff shared about Jeanette…
I am grateful for my time working Jeanette over the last two years. She has led with such enthusiasm and compassion and has shown great leadership in her role. Her dedication to HCK has been proven time and time again with her always supporting staff, students and parents. The effort she goes to in making sure Wellbeing Weeks are celebrated with staff, breakfasts for our parents on Mother’s and Father’s day and ensuring our students have the best learning environments to thrive in. Holy Cross is eternally grateful for everything you have done for us. We wish you all the best for the future.
Vicki McCudden, Assistant Principal
One of the first time I saw Jeanette at school as our Principal, she was at the school in a baseball cap and activewear and in filth cleaning out the storage area in the school holidays! There had also been a huge storm and Jeanette and her husband had been cleaning up the whole school. Massive effort!!
Michelle Dell, Teacher
It has been a pleasure to work with Jeanette. She is a consummate professional and nurturing leader when it comes to her role as school principal. Her ability to consistently nurture both the students of Holy Cross and the wider school community, particularly during these difficult years has been fantastic. She will be sorely missed.
Jade Kremer, School Counsellor
Shortly after Jeanette became our principal at HCK, I experienced the death of a parent. I will never forget the love and care that Jeanette showed me during this very difficult time. Any time I have had a question or concern I have felt like I can go and speak to Jeanette and she has always listened and given me thoughtful and helpful feedback. We will most certainly miss Jeanette next year.
Michelle Butler, Teacher
Some of what our students shared about their Principal…
“Mrs Fowles is always encouraging, humble and loving. She cares for others and helps others. It’s so sad that she has to leave but Holy Cross will never forget her.”
Jacob, Year 4
“Mrs Fowles, the time you have been here has been awesome!”
Zoe, Year 4
“Mrs Fowles made a real effort to get to know everyone when she started. She often comes up and speaks to you just to get to know more about you. Asking how our weekend or day was, and what you liked about school today. She’s been really involved with everything at school.”
Jai, Year 6 (at Holy Cross since Kindergarten)
“She’s brought in a new rewards system, the oval is being redone and she is always really nice, helpful and flexible with school work. She has time for all students and drove us to the recent Mission Mass at Waitara which was a great day (including a lunch!).”
Cleo, Year 6 (at Holy Cross since Year 2)
Catholic Schools Broken Bay wishes Jeanette a great next endeavour and thanks her for her contribution and her leadership of our staff, parents and students. Be blessed.