The appointment of Tracey Munro as Principal of the High School for 2021 is a very popular one, especially if the High School girls’ reaction to the announcement is anything to go by – watch their reaction here.
Mrs Munro needs no introduction as she has been at Epworth since 1998 and is currently the High School Deputy Head, Academics. Next year, she will step into the big shoes of Laura Bekker who retires at the end of the year after five years at Epworth.
On Mrs Munro’s appointment, we sat down with her, between her very busy schedule, to find out a little bit more about who she is, the person behind the teacher and her journey leading up to being appointed Principal.
While completing her Masters in the USA, Mrs Munro was offered three jobs at three different schools, but it was Epworth that stood out for her, and apparently it was her husband, Orde, who helped her make her choice by visiting the three schools! She was then interviewed telephonically (as it was before the days of Zoom or Skype), and the rest is history! Mrs Munro joined us at Epworth in 1998 as a Mathematics and Physical Sciences teacher.
Mrs Munro’s teaching philosophy is derived from two Greek words, the first, philos, meaning “loving” and the second, sophia, meaning “wisdom”.
“A love of wisdom should be the base from which a teacher works and aims to inspire. I believe that leading starts with listening and serving and should focus on facilitating those around you to flourish. A growth mindset should underpin both teaching and leading,” she explains.
Commenting on the unique character of our school, Mrs Munro says the proof is in the pudding and in the calibre of pupils produced at Epworth.
“Testimonies of current and past pupils prove what an outstanding school we are. Building spirit and pride, and energising our brand are key to moving Epworth into the future. Added to this is the nurturing environment where unpretentious, talented and passionate pupils are able to freely express themselves” says Mrs Munro. “And besides, I have the greatest colleagues!” she adds with a smile.
Sharing her view on how our school has had to adapt to remote teaching and learning during the COVID-19 lockdown, Mrs Munro says, “Our dependence on technology has been dramatically increased, and we have had to be very innovative and adaptable, but essentially teaching objectives have not changed.”
“Added to this, our pupils have coped very well; they too had a lot to learn and to which to adapt under challenging circumstances. Our younger pupils had the greatest learning curve in terms of technology use and working independently; they had barely settled into high school and then had to learn to learn at home.”
Talking about the adaption of technology and education into the future, Mrs Munro says “Epworth will certainly continue using our online platform. It was most useful prior to COVID -19 for staff collaboration and is now very much part of managing our teaching with our classes. Recording lessons and digital learning resources are very helpful for when pupils have to be away from school for reasons other than COVID-19, and for allowing pupils to re-watch lessons to assist with their learning and understanding. From 2021, all of our Grade 8 pupils will need to have a laptop. Many of our innovative ways to meet, share information and collaborate will continue after COVID-19 due to the many benefits that they have presented,” she says.
So, what does Mrs Munro get up to when she’s not in the classroom or at school? Stamp collecting and indigenous gardening!
“I love working in my garden, and hiking anywhere in our beautiful country certainly puts a smile on my face and gets my approval.”
And finally, what doesn’t get Mrs Munro’s approval? When resources are wasted!