Prairiewood High School principal Belinda Giudice said she is looking forward to "leveraging new learnings" with her school community, principal colleagues, the broader profession and public education community on her return from a professional education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education that is specifically designed to strengthen the skills of educational leaders.
"To adopt the words of Harvard: it is giving me the chance to be the change I want to see in the world," she told the Champion.
"I am hoping to strengthen my educational leadership capacity and influence the growth of others."
Ms Giudice, who has been principal at Prairiewood High School for four years, was this week announced as one of three recipients of a Harvard Principals Scholarship and will travel to Harvard University in July 2023 for the course. Despite dealing with COVID-19 lockdowns, this year the school achieved its best ever rank of 80th with 10 students achieving an ATAR of more than 99.
"I am deeply humbled and excited to receive a Principal Scholarship to Harvard from the Teachers Mutual Bank. I am the first in my family to complete year 12 and attend university, so to be selected to travel overseas to the world's most prestigious university for on-campus learning is truly exciting," she said.
"It reaffirms my first-hand experience of the power and purpose of education to transform one's life trajectory. I see myself as a role-model to the community in which I work as I am an example that you can start from simple beginnings and make aspirational goals a reality with hard work, dedication, persistence, and surrounding yourself with like-minded people who inspire you to strive for self-improvement. I can't wait to share this journey with the Prairiewood High School and public education community."
The Elizabeth Hills resident said she could not ask for a more rewarding career.
"Or a more internally satisfying profession," she said.
"I entered the teaching profession to make a positive difference in the lives of those in my sphere of influence. This remains a priority and what I enjoy most about my role.
"I see the power and purpose of education and public education in particular is to transform the life trajectories of our students. We achieve this through equitable life affording opportunities that enable students to grow academically, to gain the knowledge and the skills needed to become better people and create a better society to live in.
"Day in and day out, we empower our students, families, and community with these skills and mindset to thrive and then contribute to the world ahead of them."
So what is she most looking forward to about going to Harvard?
"I am voraciously curious to expand my repertoire of educational leadership strategies and tools and deepen my understanding of the research underpinning these," she said.
"I have recently completed Harvard's Certificate of Advanced Education Leadership and being able to build on this learning in situ with international peers will be an exceptional opportunity. I am also excited to share the impact of the learning with both school and system leaders on my return."
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