Being “content, connected and engaged”, underpinned by a strong sense of wellbeing and gratitude, allows students to strive and survive in a world of change and opportunity, says newly appointed Principal at Saint Stephen’s College on the Gold Coast, Kim Cohen.
In discussing her educational philosophy and the focus for Term One with staff, prior to the start of the 2020 school year, Mrs Cohen emphasised that teachers played a vital role as facilitators, role models, learners and innovators.
“As a teacher, principal and mother of three daughters, I am passionate about the intellectual life and wellbeing of all students. I am particularly interested in promoting a positive growth mindset which forms the basis of building academic and personal resilience, persistence and a desire to be a continuous learner. I am mindful of the importance of enhancing student engagement and performance through the development of higher order thinking skills and creative capacity. These skills are imperative as we prepare the youth of today for a world of change and opportunity,” she said.
“To quote St Francis of Assisi: ‘Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible’. Staff at Saint Stephen’s College are forward thinking and have innovative approaches to education that mirror the advice of St Francis.
“Teachers play a vital role in the lives of students as they define their identity in a world focused on narcissism and materialism. I have only just started in the role of Principal at this multi award-winning school and already I have been blown away by the down-to-earth, can-do attitude of both the staff and the students. Not only are they passionate about their school, but they are also friendly, warm-hearted and caring.
“In every interaction I have had in my short time here I have been impressed by the professional, nurturing nature of the staff and the hard-working, engaged and happy students. They take advantage of the myriad of opportunities with enthusiasm. As you walk around the school you will tune in to the hum of active learning, coupled with the joy of heartfelt laughter.
“This is not surprising, given the world-class facilities and high standard of teaching – supporting every student to be the best they can be as they strive to live out our values ofmaturity and integrity whilst having fun on the learning journey.
“Thanks to the characteristics already highlighted, Saint Stephen’s College has again been included on The Educator’s national list of schools at the cutting edge of change and innovation in Australia. Whilst we are ahead of the game in innovative practices, teachers continue to ensure that students’ skills and knowledge in numeracy and literacy are at the core of all that we do.”
Most recently Principal at The Glennie School in Toowoomba, Mrs Cohen has also held leadership positions at St Margaret’s Anglican Girls’ School, Lourdes Hill College and Brisbane Girls Grammar School, as well as at schools in South Africa. She replaces Jamie Dorrington, who was Principal of Saint Stephen’s College for 16 years.
Mrs Cohen completed her Bachelor of Science (BSc), Higher Diploma in Education, Masters in Education – Educational Leadership (Med) and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.