In October 2014, Ian Kent was awarded a prestigious Principals Australia Institute John Laing Professional Development Award.
The Principals Australia Institute’s John Laing Professional Development Awards are a peer nominated celebration of school leadership and professional learning and the award recognises those school leaders who have significantly contributed to the professional learning of their colleague.
KICE representatives said that this was fantastic recognition of Mr Kent’s work over a long period of time at the national, state, school and community levels.
This award is reflective of his standing and acknowledgement with his peers earned over many years.
“This award is very significant for me as it is recognition by my peers who I guess are the people who can be your harshest critics, but at other times your greatest support,” Mr Kent said.
“I have always had a philosophy that you can learn as much from someone as they can learn from you and have practised this throughout my entire career as a principal,” he said.
“In my first posting as a principal of Streaky Bay Area School many years ago I was confronted with the Channel 9 helicopter landing on the beach in front of the school and 40 parents pulling their children out of the school due to an incident that had happened well before I started there.
“I would not have survived that day or the coming months if I had not have had some excellent mentoring from a very experienced principal when I was his deputy, and the support of another principal, Mr Ray Marino, who was the president of the Area Schools Principals Association at the time.
“I am an executive member of that association and have recently written a paper on behalf of all Area School Principals for the upcoming Enterprise Bargaining process in 2015.”
“The experience at Streaky Bay motivated me to give something back to the profession and as a result I have developed and mentored countless leaders and principals over the past 18 years.
“This is ongoing, both formally and informally,” Mr Kent said.
“I have recently been selected by the Principal Australia’s Institute to be one of 10 principals from across Australia to be a “Thought Principal”.
“I am the only public school principal in South Australia to be selected.
“A Thought Principal is like a “Thinker in Residence” where we meet regularly online and discuss current trends in education nationally and globally, share resources and innovative ideas to support principals in leading the learning.
“We met face-to-face recently and have already started sharing ideas and resources that will eventually go out to principals across Australia.
Mr Kent said that recognition by your peers was the greatest honour and he felt privileged to be in his position.
“The only other recognition that comes anywhere near this is when you meet former students who seek you out to tell you about their lives post-school and thank you for providing them with the best possible teaching and learning program,” he said.