After an exhaustive national search, the Burgmann Anglican School Board has appointed Ms Leonie Harwood as its third Principal. Her appointment marks a significant milestone in the history of Burgmann Anglican School as the first female Principal in the co-educational ELC to year 12 school.
Leonie’s breadth of experience, energy, and enthusiasm for educating young people, coupled with a strong faith, shape her choices in life and drive her work, making her an ideal fit to lead the growing school community at Gungahlin and Forde campuses.
Leonie tells Anglican News, ‘I am excited and honoured to be appointed as Principal of Burgmann Anglican School. I am a strong believer in Christian education and look forward to joining Burgmann and leading a school community actively working to create a world where anything is possible for our young people grounded in faith.’
Currently Deputy Principal and Head of Senior School at St John’s Grammar School, an Anglican ELC to year 12 school in the Adelaide Hills in South Australia, Leonie has more than two decades of education and leadership experience across a number of Independent and Regional Schools throughout South Australia.
Previously, Leonie was Director of Learning and Operations before taking on the role of Head of Middle School, at Seymour College, an allgirls ELC to year 12 Uniting Church School in Adelaide. Leonie was the Co-ordinator of Exceptional Learning at Immanuel College, a year 7-12, co-educational, Lutheran IB World school, Head of Senior School and Unique Directions Coordinator at Annesley College, and Assistant Principal (Middle School) at Port Lincoln High School.
An inspiring, contemporary educator with a passion for academic excellence and ongoing learning for teaching staff, Leonie is currently completing a Masters in Educational Leadership and Management from Deakin University.
‘Now is an exciting time in education’, Leonie shared, ‘our young people are demanding change. Schools must nurture young people to not only find their voice, but ensure that voice speaks with wisdom, kindness and confidence. An educated and engaged citizenry is key to a well-functioning democracy. We need our young people to be active participants in our society, to question and provide solutions, to transition from being consumers to being contributors.’
What shines brightly in meeting Leonie is her warmth of personality and commitment to every child; she is a forward-thinking educator who is conscious of the changing needs of students, the requirements for progression and innovation, and the qualities that graduates need to be successful in the working environments of today and the future.
She is committed to providing authentic, personalised learning experiences. Leonie is passionate about building a supportive and energised community to inspire students as they discover their individual strengths that will prepare them for the challenges of life beyond school.
Leonie’s father is a Uniting Church minister and she describes feeling fortunate to grow up in a family that was centered around the church, that nurtured her own faith. Her family moved often, including formative years in Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory, and a number of small country towns in South Australia, including Snowtown and Maitland. Her mother was a teacher who instilled in Leonie a love of learning and the power of education to transform lives.
Leonie and her husband Stephen and two daughters Emily and Annabelle are looking forward to settling into Canberra. Emily, who has just finished Year 12, hopes to study Law in Canberra and Annabelle will join the Burgmann Anglican School in Year 10.
Leonie commences her tenure at Burgmann Anglican School in January 2022.