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Editorial Donella Beare

Posted on 27 February by Lakeside Joondalup

To celebrate International Women's Day, Lakeside Joondalup interviewed valued female members in the community.

Donella Beare is the principal at St Stephen's School.

Tell us your story; what lead you to the field you’re in, why did you begin?

I have a very strong community focus that I believe assists myself greatly in a leadership role. Both before taking on the principalship in 2017 and in my teaching years prior, I have established several community-related initiatives to better the education of students. The St Stephen’s School’s ‘Institute’ is one of them, working with staff to provide support, development and growth opportunities in the form of StaffExpo and LeaderCon events and a Graduate Teacher Program that guides young teachers towards a fruitful career. 

I have a passion for education, with 20 years’ experience in teaching, senior leadership, executive, governance and administration. Which led me to the role of Principal at St Stephen’s School, a school that has one of the highest student enrolment numbers in the state; providing a holistic education to more than 2000 students at two campuses in Carramar and Duncraig. 

How do you strive towards balance in the workplace or your personal life?

Keeping a good work/life balance requires discipline. Some things I do to help me with this include technology-free time to disconnect, diarise ‘me’ time and stick to it, make a routine of keeping one day on the weekend as a family day.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

You can’t please everybody, be true to yourself and the job you were asked to do.  

Is there a podcast or book you would recommend?

‘Good to Great’ by Jim Collins – an oldie but a goodie (book). 

Anything else we would love to know about you?

The partnership between teachers and parents is so important in setting the relational context in which our children may learn and grow. Learning is a natural life-long human activity which is valued, encouraged and modeled at the school and in our broader community as we all look at ways we can best grow together.

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