Welcome Jodi, new Principal of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Catholic Primary School (OLPS), West Pymble.
Jodi brings to Catholic Schools Broken Bay (CSBB) extensive and diverse leadership experience with Catholic Education, Diocese of Parramatta, most recently as Assistant Principal at St Madeleine’s Catholic Primary School, Kenthurst. Jodi has also held a variety of other roles including instructional leadership of numeracy and literacy and worked with a system-led specialist unit for diverse learners across multiple schools in the Parramatta Diocese.
Jodi is deeply committed to her faith, building connections with Parish, and engaging students to know and love Christ. We took a moment to welcome and get to know Jodi a little more to our diocese.
What inspired your path into education?
I always knew that I wanted to pursue a vocation of service. Originally I had considered a career in occupational therapy but after doing some work experience in the hospital I realised it wasn’t for me. However, the opportunity to work in paediatrics confirmed my strong desire to work with children, especially the most vulnerable. I decided to pursue teaching and later in my career, I specialised in the area of Diverse Learning.
How have you grown as a principal?
I have been extremely fortunate in my career to have worked alongside Principals and leaders who have invested in my professional growth. I have been afforded the opportunity to participate in leadership courses including Instructional Leadership, Diverse Learning and working with Linda Bendikson in Growing Great Leaders 1 and 2. These opportunities not only contributed to my formation as a leader but also highlighted the kind of leader I wanted to be; a Principal that invests in building the capacity of others.
I have come to learn that it is not necessary to have all the answers, but rather have the right people around the table to problem solve collectively. I have learnt the importance of establishing relational trust and building relationships and that this is a necessary foundation that enable goals to be achieved.
How do you engage parents/carers, students and staff?
It’s all about relationship and establishing trust. As a leader, it is important to walk alongside people. It is essential to be transparent and concise around expectations so there is no ambiguity. People know where they stand and they know what to expect. And most importantly, it is essential to be open to feedback, let people know their input is welcomed and valued.
What makes working within Catholic schools Broken Bay different to working somewhere else?
Broken Bay’s Towards 2025 strategy outlines a very clear vision and purpose for the Diocese. Teams are not working in isolation, but rather united by a common purpose. There is consistency in practice and understanding. CSBB has invested in initiatives like collaborative coaching and Principal coaching that support schools in achieving the goals outlined by the strategy. Danny Casey’s dialogue around Towards 2025 demonstrates his genuine investment and commitment to the goals, which has filtered through CSBB leadership. There is a strong culture of respect, collaboration and collective responsibility.
How does your faith impact your leadership style?
It reminds me of my purpose as a servant leader. My faith is embedded in every aspect of my work, in how I engage with my community and how I support those in need. My faith in God guides my actions and choices. I consider myself a disciple of Jesus being gifted the opportunity to do God’s work.
If we asked your closest friends, how would they describe you as a person?
I think they would describe me as empathetic, compassionate, driven and someone who demonstrates a love of learning. A person who recognises gifts in other people and who values the opportunity to support and develop others.
What do you hope to achieve as a principal?
I hope to create a positive culture, where people value and support each other. I would like to develop the capacity of my team and bring out the best in people. I would like to establish a community that is built on a foundation of faith and bound by commitment to a common purpose – to meet the needs of every student.
What will you hope to leave as your legacy in education leadership?
A legacy of equity and inclusion, where the individual needs of every person are met and their gifts recognised. Creating an educational environment where each person, student and teacher, are valued and respected. Where difference is celebrated and success is acknowledged.
Finish these sentences…
If I wasn’t a principal I would be… an occupational therapist.
My greatest achievement is… my children.
I am currently reading… Visible Learning by John Hattie (for the second time!)
I enjoy spending time out of work… being seaside.
The place I really can’t wait to visit… Egypt.