From aide to the top job

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

IT may only be for a while, but Wonga Beach State School teacher Belinda Guthrie is en­joy­ing ev­ery mo­ment of be­ing the school’s (tem­po­rary) prin­ci­pal.

Michelle Davis, who has been prin­ci­pal for some years, has been sec­onded to Car­avon­ica for a se­mes­ter, and so Mrs Guthrie has stepped into her shoes.

In­stead of teach­ing class 6/7 she now takes over the Prep Room and the prin­ci­pal’s of­fice.

Not bad for some­one who started out at the same school 12 years ago as a teacher aide.

Af­ter a time Mrs Guthrie, who lives at Newell, stud­ied to be a teacher and be­came qual­i­fied.

In fact it’s be­cause she’s done a bit of ev­ery­thing that she stands in good stead with the chal­leng­ing role of prin­ci­pal.

‘‘You need to be mul­ti­skilled,’’ she said. ‘‘ You un­der­stand ev­ery­body’s roles be­cause you’ve done lots of jobs.

‘‘It’s been chal­leng­ing – the first week of the school year, with some new fam­i­lies, sort­ing ex­pec­ta­tions for them and the stu­dents.

‘‘It’s a busy job – I call it ‘spin and kick’,’’ she says, demon­strat­ing some faux mar­tial moves.

Mrs Davis is sched­uled to re­turn in the sec­ond se­mes­ter. In the mean­time, Mrs Guthrie has gained more un­der­stand­ing of the work of her for­mer boss, whom she clearly ad­mires. ‘‘It’s given me a whole new ap­pre­ci­a­tion of how great Michelle is,’’ she said. ‘‘I’m just keep­ing her seat warm for her.’’

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