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Born to teach
Lisa Ledger, Baynton West Primary School
WA Primary Principal of the Year 2019
If there was ever anyone destined to be in education, it’s Lisa Ledger. As the youngest of three daughters, Lisa says it was her childhood dream to be a teacher.
“I’m the youngest in the family with two older sisters who are teachers. I used to play schools with my dolls and when I had friends over to play we always played schools,” Lisa says with a smile.
“I loved going to school and I loved my teachers. It was a foregone conclusion I was going to be a teacher. I used to go into my sister’s school and help out whenever I could and knew it was the job for me.”
For those who know Lisa, her passion for education is not something that stops or shuts down as she leaves the school gates. It is inherent in all she does, so it is understandable she has passed on her lifelong love of learning to her own children.
“I am close to my family and I have three children, one of whom is a teacher, one is training to be a teacher, and one has just left secondary school and might become a teacher,” she says.
With a career spanning over 30 years, Lisa has travelled around the State since her graduate teacher days at Weld Square Primary School, having taught in Ravensthorpe, Carnarvon and Broome. It was as Deputy Principal of Narrogin Primary School that Lisa began her leadership journey, before taking on her first principal position at Tom Price Primary School.
“It was a really difficult decision for me to make to become a school leader. I became a deputy quite late in my career as I had been teaching approximately 20 years. I really loved the classroom and hadn’t really ever thought about moving to the next level until, funnily enough, someone suggested it,” Lisa says.
“I never ever thought that I would be principal. It wasn’t an easy road to get to this point, but I’m really glad I persevered because I absolutely love what I do. To influence the lives of students, their families and staff is such a privilege.”
As Foundation Principal of Baynton West Primary School, Lisa has created a culture of empowerment and high care, where staff are challenged and supported to cater for all students.
“I want students to know you can be anything you want to be,” she says.
“All you have to do is be present. Your voice is as important as the next person’s, so speak up. You have the power to change the world.
“Just be you. Don’t worry about being the best at sport, the best looking, the smartest, the most popular or the coolest. Life has a habit of leading you to the place where you’re meant to be. Trust that you’ll find your niche in the world.”
And to hone that power and help them to discover their niche, Lisa has created a school community where people feel they belong, they are safe to take risks and explore, therefore learning in a deep and meaningful way.
“A few years ago I was one of the lucky principals who got to go to Harvard on the Fellowship program, and the thing that struck me when I entered was a big sign that said, ‘Wherever you are from, you are home’. That really stuck with me and has become a bit of a mantra in which I live by,” Lisa explains.
“My school is a large and transient one, we have students from all over Australia and from many places around the world. Coming to a new and remote location often causes anxiety in our students and their families.
“I want students at Baynton West Primary School to feel that they matter and that they are important. I believe that connections bring a sense of belonging and that no matter where they are from, when they are at our school, they are home.”
WA Primary Principal of the Year 2019
This award recognises the exciting and significant role of principals in primary schools. As mentors and motivators, they create partnerships and work with their communities. They secure the best possible learning outcomes for their young students.
Proudly sponsored by Fotoworks.
- Lisa Ledger, Baynton West Primary School
- Emma Bancroft, Balingup Primary School
- Dean Finlay, Ocean Road Primary School
- Lee Woodcock, Thornlie Primary School