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Principals headed to Harvard University after receiving coveted scholarships

Public Education Foundation 6 mins read

Three of Australia’s best and brightest principals have been given the opportunity to undertake a professional education program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education (Harvard) through the Teachers Mutual Bank Principals Scholarship, the Harvard Club of Australia Principals Scholarship and the Public Education Foundation Principals Scholarship.

 

Recognised for their outstanding work in educating the nation’s young minds, the principals will undertake a program at Harvard specifically designed to strengthen their educational leadership skills.

 

Teachers Mutual Bank, the Harvard Club of Australia and the Public Education Foundation are proud to announce the recipients of the 2023 Principal Scholarships:

 

  • Teachers Mutual Bank Principals Scholarship – Daniel Rattigan - Finigan School of Distance Education, NSW
  • Harvard Club of Australia Principals Scholarship - Melanie Macmillan - Blairmount Public School, NSW
  • Public Education Foundation Principals Scholarship - Sean Butler - Prestons High School, VIC 

 

The scholarships provide principals with travel, accommodation and tuition costs in the United States’ city of Boston.

 

Scholarship recipient, Daniel Rattigan from Finigan School of Distance Education in NSW, was thrilled to be selected and is excited to share the message of the important role distance education plays in the lives of students across the country.

 

I am deeply grateful for the Teachers Mutual Bank Principals Scholarship as an opportunity to further connect with research and the experiences of other principals. I look forward to applying my learning to enhance the learning community of Finigan School of Distance Education and the broader public education community,” Mr Rattigan said.

 

Melanie Macmillan, Relieving Principal of Blairmount Public School hopes the opportunity to study at Harvard will inspire her students to reach their goals.

 

“I hope my students and the wider school community see their principal having an opportunity to study at Harvard and feel inspired to believe their opportunities are limitless,Ms Macmillan said.

 

Sean Butler from Prestons High School said the scholarship would allow for connection with a range of school leaders and collaboration to make classrooms the best possible places for students and teachers.

 

“This opportunity will allow me to work on and refine my own leadership practice, and to make a more powerful impact as a school leader within a strong and vibrant public school system,” Mr Butler said.

 

Teachers Mutual Bank’s Chief Marketing Officer Nichole Banks expressed her delight in offering Daniel the opportunity to extend his leadership skills at Harvard.

 

“This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the Teachers Mutual Bank Principal Scholarship. We strongly believe the educational benefits of attending a prestigious university such as Harvard will have a lasting impact not only on the principal but on their students, school and their community,” Ms Banks said.

 

NSW Education Department Acting Secretary Murat Dizdar said it was fantastic to see the achievements of two NSW school leaders rewarded with a Principal Scholarship.

 

“Daniel Rattigan and Melanie Macmillan are wonderful ambassadors for NSW public education and are exemplars of the extraordinary work that happens in our schools every day,” Mr Dizdar said.

 

Ricky Campbell-Allen from the Harvard Club of Australia is thrilled to see public school principals like Daniel, Melanie and Sean deserve access to the best professional learning in the world.

 

“Principals have one of the most important jobs in the world – leading teams of teachers to improve the learning and wellbeing outcomes of all Australian kids,”

 

“A scholarship for a principal is not an investment in an individual but rather an investment in a school and, over time, a community,” Ms Campbell-Allen said.

 

“Principals lead the front line of our public education system, and we are delighted to be able to support the professional development of some of the best,” said Paul Somers, PEF’s Chief Operating Officer.

 

“Daniel, Melanie and Sean have proven outstanding leaders, and we are delighted to see them having access to this incredible opportunity at Harvard.”

 

Each Principal Scholarship is valued at approximately $14,000 and includes program tuition for the Harvard Graduate School of Education program, Achieving Excellence: Leadership Development for Principals.

 

For more information please contact:  Paul Somers, Public Education Foundation

Tel: 0406 437 208 I Email: paul@publiceducationfoundation.org.au

 

 

Harvard Club of Australia: Since its founding in 1961, the Harvard Club of Australia (HCA) has dedicated itself to the mission of furthering exchange between Australia and Harvard. HCA aims to promote fellowship among alumni of Harvard University in Australia and make a difference as a Harvard community in Australia. See more details at www.hcaustralia.clubs.harvard.edu.

 

Teachers Mutual Bank (TMB) came to life in 1966 when a group of passionate teachers, with the shared vision to give educators and their families’ better financial options, held their first meeting as a credit union. Over 50 years on TMB has grown to be one of the largest mutual banks in the country with over $10 billion in assets and over 230,000 members. However, one thing has remained constant, the Bank’s commitment to supporting its members and creating opportunities for teachers and the education community to flourish. See more details at www.tmbank.com.au.

 

Public Education Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to providing life-changing scholarships to students and educators in public education, and enhancing the value and reputation of public education. See more details at www.publiceducationfoundation.org.au.

 

 

Further quotes:

 

 

Daniel Rattigan, Finigan School of Distance Education, NSW

 

“I am deeply grateful for the Teachers Mutual Bank Principals Scholarship as an opportunity to further connect with research and the experiences of other principals. I look forward to applying my learning to enhance the learning community of Finigan School of Distance Education, the broader public education community and the Australasian Association of Distance Education Schools of which I’ve recently been appointed President (The association consists of public distance education schools from every state and NZ.).

 

Being appointed as a principal five years ago, with the responsibility of establishing a new K-12 distance education school was daunting, exciting and humbling. I relied on mentors, peers and evidence to guide the realisation of the school. I learnt how central my role was in defining and establishing the learning culture of the school.

 

“As a proud product of public education, I understand the role public schools play in providing equitable access to quality learning experiences for every child. Distance education schools provide an opportunity for students to learn at a time and place that meets their circumstances. At Finigan School of Distance Education we have developed a culture of evaluative practice where every teacher is a learning leader. It has been a collective effort to redefine distance education and ensure our students are connected and engaged with the process of learning.”

 

Melanie Macmillan, Blairmount Public School, NSW

 

This scholarship enables me to have the opportunity to deeply reflect on the current practices, take on new learning for best leadership approaches and have the time and space to plan future directions for continual improvement of my skills for the benefit of my school and beyond.

 

“I feel my positive, humbled, empathetic leadership style is appreciated by my colleagues, students and the community. I think by aiming to balance high expectations and continual improvement while supporting the wellbeing of both students and staff is necessary to developing a positive school culture. Public schools and the communities need dynamic and professional role models to combat the negative image of the word 'public' and the assumption that the more you pay the better the education.

 

“I am currently the relieving Principal at Blairmount Public School in Campbelltown, south western Sydney. I hope my students and the wider school community see their Principal having an opportunity to study at Harvard and feel inspired to believe their opportunities are limitless.

 

Sean Butler, Prestons High School, VIC

 

The scholarship is an opportunity to connect with school leaders from different jurisdictions. It will allow us to share and collaborate in making schools and classrooms the best possible places for students and teachers.

 

“Effective school leadership is pivotal to building communities and placing students and their learning at the centre of our work.

 

“This opportunity will allow me to work on and refine my own leadership practice, and to make a more powerful impact as a school leader within a strong and vibrant public school system.”

 

Murat Dizdar, Acting Secretary, NSW Department of Education

 

“Daniel Rattigan and Melanie Macmillan are wonderful ambassadors for NSW public education and are exemplars of the extraordinary work that happens in our schools every day,” Mr Dizdar said.

 

“As the founding principal of Finigan School of Distance Education, Daniel is committed to giving students the chance to learn at a time and place that suits their circumstances.

 

“Daniel and his team have developed a targeted and tailored approach to support student reengagement with learning through innovative and dynamic online lessons that are redefining what distance education looks like.

 

“The results speak for themselves with an 18% increase in the number of HSC students achieving in the Top 3 bands between 2020-2021.

 

“At Blairmount Public School, Melanie is always looking for proactive ways to deliver academic and wellbeing improvements for her students. She is focused on building the capacity of her staff and supporting them to be the best teachers they can be.

 

“She is a highly reflective leader committed to unifying, and collaborating with, the school community to ensure they are partners in both their children’s learning and the direction of the school.

 

“I know Daniel and Melanie will gain incredible leadership insights from their time at the Harvard Graduate School of Education that will have flow-on benefits to their schools, staff and students.”

 

Nichole Banks, Chief Marketing Officer, Teachers Mutual Bank

 

“This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the Teachers Mutual Bank Principal Scholarship. We are thrilled to have provided significant professional development opportunities over the past decade for high calibre principals like Daniel Rattigan. We strongly believe the educational benefits of attending a prestigious university such as Harvard will have a lasting impact not only on the principal but on their students, school and their community.

 

“Daniel Rattigan is a passionate advocate for public education and distance education. He relishes the opportunity to hone his leadership skills to create transformational change in those students unable to attend a face-to-face school. We look forward to seeing what learnings Daniel takes away from his Harvard experience.”

 


Contact details:

For more information please contact:  Paul Somers, Public Education Foundation

Tel: 0406 437 208 I Email: paul@publiceducationfoundation.org.au

 

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