New PLC Armidale Head of Junior School, Mrs Fiona Wake is a passionate and experienced educator who has big plans for the role she has stepped into in 2017, following former Head, Mrs Ainslie Breckenridge and her family’s re-location to Sydney.
Fiona understands and appreciates the needs of girls after not only teaching girls for many years, but currently raising her own four daughters (Amelia, twins Macey and Elsie, and Annie), together with husband, Scott. Fiona beautifully balances the demands of her busy educational leadership role with life on the family property at Ben Lomond.
How are you enjoying the new role, Fiona?
I am delighted to be appointed as Head of Junior School and am looking forward to working closely with teachers, Executive and our families, to ensure students are supported in their learning. This role provides me with the opportunity to apply my years of experience accrued across two states in both the public and independent education systems. I have taught young children, from age three, to teaching adult literacy and numeracy and have always adapted to an ever-evolving curriculum that creates different demands on you as an educator.
Why PLC Armidale?
PLC Armidale provides an environment that is engaging, nurturing and supportive. It is a learning environment dedicated to the needs of girls, where there are no expectations to fulfil traditional gender stereotypes in the subjects they study, the activities they participate in, nor the careers they pursue.
The staff at PLC Armidale continue to be inspired by happy, engaged and curious children, who feel safe and supported throughout their educational journey. We are fortunate to teach in a community where parents value education and are supportive.
The PLC Armidale Junior School is renown for its quality teaching and learning. What makes it so special?
PLC Armidale understands girls and how they learn. Learning experiences can then be tailored to bring out the best in each child. I am a true believer in a single gender education for girls.
I have first-hand experience as a teacher, mother and now leader and am very proud to be working along with staff to bring out the best in our students in such a family friendly environment. The bottom line is that we care. The choice for our girls is simple!
Many of the staff at PLC Armidale have daughters themselves and have a very grounded, realistic understanding of how girls behave and their individual needs. We are focused on delivering an all girls’ education that strongly recognises these needs. In today’s rapidly changing society we have new challenges such as technology, and bullying using social media, which compounds the many peer and social pressures that already exist. By creating an environment which offers minimal distractions, it allows young girls to achieve, which leads to improved self-esteem and a better sense of self-worth for young girls trying to find their way in this world.
Who inspires you in your new leadership role? Do you have any tips for raising girls?
I have the benefit of working alongside a Principal who is extremely well respected across the college and broader community. She has a vision and is extremely honest and conscientious. She is putting realistic, achievable and tangible steps into place for the benefit of our college and my daughters. Mrs Nicola Taylor is an inspirational woman who is supported by an amazing Executive, and I feel very privileged to be part of this leadership team.
I have gained a lot from every school experience. My work ethic comes from very hard working parents, who have always encouraged me to “give it a shot” and remain honest in all that I do. Their success and that of my sister and I, can be attributed to their endless support, love and encouragement to always be the best that you can.
My tips for raising girls – mmm! I am still working this one out. Raising a family is the hardest job in the world, and I am fortunate to have a very supportive husband in Scott. Our four girls know they are loved, and hopefully this will give them all the confidence they need to succeed in life and follow their dreams. Our legacy hopefully will be that we have raised four strong, independent women who are successful in their life’s endeavours.