Local Champion: Humble principal a role model for all

Leading by example: Brother Nicholas Harsas is principal of Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School Carnes Hill and has been a Catholic educator for 35 years. Picture: Supplied
Leading by example: Brother Nicholas Harsas is principal of Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School Carnes Hill and has been a Catholic educator for 35 years. Picture: Supplied

Brother Nicholas Harsas believes you can only be a leader if people are following, and to do that, you need to get them to walk with you.

The principal of Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School Carnes Hill has been a Catholic educator for 35 years, and has now been named a "champion" at the task by his students and colleagues.

When the Champion put the call out for the community to nominate Local Champions in their neighbourhood, the school community pointed to Brother Nicholas for being "a wonderful role model and highly respected" by all.

"He believes that teachers are champions to students, who learn most authentically from teachers they admire and respect," read the joint nomination form.

Year 6 student, Marcus Papic, said: "Thanks Brother Nicholas for inspiring us in our faith, learning and behaviour."

As a Patrician Brother, Brother Nicholas prioritises those most in need and advocates for mental health and wellbeing.

He told the Champion that he couldn't do what he does without the partnership of his students, and the support of their parents and teachers.

"I feel very humbled and surprised [by the nomination], but I feel affirmed in what I'm doing by getting this recognition and appreciation," Brother Nicholas said.

What's his teaching philosophy?

"To have high expectations of myself as a teacher and principal, and high expectations for every child you teach," he said.

"Education is a means of equipping young people to be happy, faith-filled, successful learners so that they have a strong foundation to be happy, faith-filled successful adults who can contribute positively to society in the future."

The former Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School principal said some of the "greatest joys" during his career were still having friendships with individuals from his first Patrician class of 27 years ago, who have since grown up, married and had children of their own.

Brother Nicholas Harsas with staff from Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School Carnes Hill. Picture: Supplied

Brother Nicholas Harsas with staff from Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School Carnes Hill. Picture: Supplied

"The rapport I had with them has continued to develop and deepen over the years and this has been a real blessing for me," Brother Nicholas said.

"Teaching is not the easiest of professions but it certainly is most rewarding."

  • We need your help to highlight local champions and the good work they do every day. Australian Community Media wants to publish weekly articles about you. Nominate someone online: liverpoolchampion.com.au/story/7031757/.