As an educational leader passionate about emerging Christian schools placed in growing communities, Merryn Clarksmith is delighted to join The Anglican School Googong as Principal. Merryn has moved from St Luke’s Grammar School in Dee Why, Sydney, where she was Deputy Principal. Merryn has over 15 years’ experience in leadership positions in Christian schools. Before joining St Luke’s in 2016 she was, from 2008, Head of Senior School at Rouse Hill Anglican College. Prior to this she was at Northholm Grammar School in the Sydney suburb or Arcadia, where, over a ten-year period, she held the positions of Dean of Senior Students and Assistant to the Deputy Principal, among others.
In her many roles, Merryn has had a keen focus on pastoral care and student wellbeing, supporting students to ensure their optimum engagement in both their learning and life. Her particular passion for teaching student leadership and service has seen the development of many successful programs in several schools. As an extension to the work she was undertaking in her own school, in 2010 Merryn established a pastoral care network for educational leaders across NSW within the HICES group. In more recent years, Merryn has been focused on promoting the learning power framework which helps students develop specific dispositions so that they can be confident in negotiating a somewhat unknown future as well as managing life’s many challenges, alongside their academic achievements.
Merryn is a graduate of Macquarie University from which she has a Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma in Education (English/ Drama). She says that the very core of education has to be the dynamic of the classroom, and this is a place where Merryn loves to be – a place where she can connect with students, where she can see them learn, question, discover, probe, wrestle with a concept to its full realisation, triumph and develop a passion for life-long learning. Merryn also has a Master of Educational Leadership from the University of New South Wales, through which she was able to really hone her passion for supporting teachers in the development of their classroom practice, as well as negotiate the new accreditation processes. She knows that leadership is ultimately about influence and places value on building strong teams. Merryn prioritises staff wellbeing and feels very privileged to continue leading, nurturing and encouraging the staff at Googong as the school continues its rapid growth phase. She recognises the privileged role of being an educator, with the daily opportunity to share God’s love with students, staff and parents, and seeks to embed the message of Christ’s redemption in her everyday practice.
by Merryn Clarksmith