A high school stands at the heart of every remote bush town and few changes are more talked-about than the arrival of a new principal.
Only weeks into his new role at Norseman District High School, Bruce Nind looks happy as a dog with two tails.
A teacher with 31 years’ experience, the self-confessed “AFL fanatic” was formerly the principal of Girrawheen SHS, and turned down several positions closer to Perth to come to Norseman.
“I’m in the middle of nowhere,” he said as he showed the Kalgoorlie Miner about his new school. “And do I look worried?”
The principal does not look worried – among the reasons for this is his confirmed faith in the district high school model, which has students from kindergarten to Year 12 under the one scholastic roof. It means the principal can do what he is doing now – strolling between classrooms and year-groups, observing how children learn and change through childhood and adolescence.
“It gives you a good shot in the arm,” he said. “I love the district high school model. When you deal with teenagers it does sometimes get you down a bit. A lot of it is the façade they put on; that it’s not cool to be smart or to learn.“But the younger kids help get the enthusiasm for learning in the teenagers back from when they were little.”