Interview with FED Alumni – Peter Jakimowiez

By Fogarty Foundation | September 13, 2017

We talk to Peter Jakimowiez, Principal of Warriapendi Primary School,  a Cohort 3 school.

Name 3 valuable things you have gained from the EDvance program (so far)?

The EDvance program has introduced me to strategic, validated frameworks, processes, methodologies and tools that I use for whole school improvement.  All too often we look for programs and processes in isolation to solve our problems.  Fogarty EDvance enables you to orchestrate these and enable clear direction, leading to sustained school improvement.  It allows you to establish clear processes that are based on research, involving the whole school community, enabling you to make quality decisions linked to performance and common understanding.

 What is something you wish you had known earlier in your career?

The placemat documents and formulation of key performance indicators have been invaluable in developing a common professional language amongst my administration team, the staff and our community.  Reporting on the progress of our business plan to the School Board using clear, strategic direction has never been easier.

 What is the best piece of advice you’ve received about being a principal?

The position of Principal is certainly challenging, rewarding and an honour to hold.  The responsibilities are enormous.  I have been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to work with some inspiring leaders.  One of those has been my former Principal and current Fogarty mentor, Ross Albones, inspired me as a young teacher.  He encouraged me in taking on leadership opportunities that enhanced my teaching and eventually led to my current leadership position.  I particularly liked the way he led cultural change through respect, empowerment and developing teachers’ talents.  My father always taught me to keep a work, life balance and respect other people’s point of view.  I am always mindful that my staff also have family/personal commitments and cultural change occurs when common values are shared.  As a leader I prefer to be a learner rather than a knower, guided by the principles of Adaptive Leadership.

 What is the latest topic on your mind?

Teacher quality and schoolwide pedagogical development are two areas I have focused on to enhance student achievement.  EDvance has enabled me to develop a strong, professional administration team that has the freedom to operate at their optimum through the distributed leadership model.   I want all my staff to develop and build on their professional persona by taking responsibility for self-improvement.  EDvance has introduced us to the concept of using Expert Engagement as a tool for improvement.  This coupled with the Research-Based Framework for Organisational Alignment that uses the Diagnostic Inventory for School Alignment data gathering tool, has been the foundation stone of our success.