In charge of student success

 Name: Phil Toomer

 Age: 32

 Job: School principal

 City/town: Auckland 

What does your job entail? To lead and manage our school to ensure we have the best educational outcomes possible. It involves working closely with students, staff, parents and community members to make this happen. My day is a mix of meetings, events, paperwork and of course being around the school with kids and teachers.

How long have you been doing it? Five years as Glenavon School principal.

What led you to this job? I wanted to make a difference for communities and families and I knew education was a great way to do this.

What attracted you to this line of work? As soon as I started teaching I knew I wanted to be a principal. I like the idea of being in charge!

What training was involved? To be a principal you need teaching experience and a Bachelor of Education which I did at Auckland University. I’ve undertaken courses over the years to stay current.

What do you love most about your job? When students feel successful. I get to present the awards at assembly and see students’ work when the teachers feel that they have done well. Seeing the students’ pride in their achievements is the best part of my job.

What motivates you in your work? I love making a difference.

What are your career goals? I’m sure I will be a principal for years to come and at some stage I would be interested in working at a policy level to really make a difference for the sector.

Do you have any key mentors or people who have influenced you? Lots of people have helped me along the way. The principal I worked for when I was a teacher and DP was a great role model and mentor to me. It’s important to surround yourself with great people and I have lots of people from friends to business leaders who I call on for advice.

Where did you grow up and what was it like?  I grew up in Manurewa. I attended the local primary school (Manurewa Central) but travelled to Auckland Grammar each day during high school. Growing up in Manurewa but going to school in Epsom gave me a really wide perspective, for which I am very grateful.


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