New prin­ci­pal for TAS

The Weekend Post - - News -

A for­mer en­gi­neer and pas­sion­ate maths and science teacher, Paul Sjo­gren is the new prin­ci­pal of Trin­ity Angli­can School.

DON’T ex­pect the new prin­ci­pal of Trin­ity Angli­can School to re­main tucked away in an of­fice all day – far from the real ac­tion of the class­rooms.

A for­mer en­gi­neer and pas­sion­ate maths and science teacher, Paul Sjo­gren is a firm be­liever in the idea of teach­ing prin­ci­pals.

Com­mis­sioned yes­ter­day as the eighth prin­ci­pal of Trin­ity Angli­can School since it was founded in 1983, he wants to fol­low the lead of his past two prin­ci­pals at St An­drew’s Angli­can Col­lege on the Sun­shine Coast and Whit­sun­day Angli­can School in Mackay.

“I feel strongly that a prin­ci­pal needs to be in the class­room, oth­er­wise how can you pos­si­bly em­pathise with other staff mem­bers’ ex­pe­ri­ence,” Mr Sjo­gren said.

He said the class­room con­tact also al­lowed a prin­ci­pal “to keep that au­then­tic­ity with the kids – oth­er­wise you be­come a CEO”.

While Mr Sjo­gren won’t slot him­self per­ma­nently into a timetable while try­ing to man­age 800 stu­dents across two cam­puses in Cairns, he will be­gin with a Year 12 QCS class next week to help stu­dents pre­pare for the Queens­land Core Skills test later in the year.

“We’re go­ing to do a bunch of stuff – mul­ti­ple choice, short re­sponse tasks, some higher or­der think­ing skills, puz­zles, men­tal gym­nas­tics,” he said.

As deputy prin­ci­pal of St An­drew’s Angli­can Col­lege in Pere­gian Springs un­til last year, he taught Year 10 maths and Year 12 QCS.

“Math­e­mat­ics is my pas­sion,” says the Univer­sity of Mel­bourne grad­u­ate, who prac­tised as a civil en­gi­neer be­fore re­train­ing as a teacher.

“I love the or­der of math­e­mat­ics. Math­e­mat­ics is a lan­guage of physics and physics ex­plains the phys­i­cal world to us – so physics can ex­plain ev­ery­thing.”

Mr Sjo­gren said his love of maths was matched by his love of teach­ing.

“Teach­ing’s a very re­la­tional ca­reer. It’s all about peo­ple. Even though I love the techni- cal side of things, be­ing part of stu­dents’ and staff and par­ents’ lives and watch­ing them as they go through that jour­ney is in­cred­i­bly in­ter­est­ing.

“There is never a dull mo­ment in teach­ing.”

Mr Sjo­gren is keen to build on TAS’s strength in the ar­eas of science, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and maths (STEM).

“TAS has a great tra­di­tion of get­ting girls in­volved in STEM sub­jects. I see that as even more im­por­tant as we look at the gen­deri­sa­tion of dif­fer­ent ca­reer paths,” he said.

“I love to see girls be­ing en­gi­neers, do­ing math­e­mat­ics de­grees and get­ting in­volved in what are con­sid­ered the harder sub­jects.”

Pic­ture: STE­WART McLEAN

CHANG­ING OF THE GUARD: Trin­ity Angli­can School’s new prin­ci­pal Paul Sjo­gren.

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