Welcome Mr Mark Douglas

It has been great having Mark Douglas join us as Head of Primary School for Term 1 in 2022. We asked Mark a few questions so our community could get to know him a little better. Thanks for your time, Mark!

  • What is your background before joining St Mark's? I would love to say something exciting – stuntman for the Mission Impossible series or maybe a helicopter pilot mustering cattle in the outback – but in fact, I have been in education for nearly 25 years. Most recently, I was the Head of Primary at Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School on the Queensland/New South Wales border. Before that, I was Head of Primary at Ipswich Grammar School, a Queensland GPS school, and prior to that; I was the Head of Primary at Great Southern Grammar here in Western Australia.

  • When did you realise you wanted to become a teacher, and what characteristics have you taken from your own teachers into your classrooms? During my final year in high school, I began thinking about teaching as a career. I had always had great relationships with my teachers and felt confident talking to them about my career choices. Positive relationships are definitely the characteristic that I have learnt from my own teachers and something that makes school a fun and rewarding place to be each day.

  • What's one thing you wish you had known before starting a career as a teacher? I wish I had known about the impact of technology on children and developed my expertise in this area much earlier in my career. I feel I could have supported my students and families much better earlier in my career.

  • As Head of Primary School, what does true leadership mean to you? True leadership is a constant process of helping others, students, staff and parents. It may be facilitating new learning, opening up an opportunity, being supportive during a challenging time or even giving someone a clear, candid perspective when needed. I am also a big believer in visible leadership, and some of my most important work each day is done during breaks and lunchtimes with the children.

  • What's the best piece of advice that you've ever received? If you are someone who regularly fails at the first attempt, then don't be a skydiver.

  • What do you hope to achieve during your time at St Mark's? St Mark's has a deservedly splendid reputation for producing outstanding young people who are well rounded and ambitious in their lives. I have a responsibility to continue to improve, grow and lead the Primary School to ensure this continues.

  • What advice do you have for kids who are struggling at school? Schooling is rarely linear; it changes along the way and has ebbs and flows. Be positive, be kind and seek the support of the staff who are there to help you along this journey.

  • What would you say to someone considering sending their child to St Mark's? Come and see our students in action. I am very proud of the way our children work and interact, and I believe when prospective parents see this, they genuinely want their own child to experience a St Mark's education.

  • You have experienced a term here; what is your favourite thing about working at St Mark's? We have fantastic students. They are friendly and confident and regularly make me smile with their positive outlook. I also have a great team of teachers, aides and admin staff. It is a fun place to be each day.

  • What accomplishment are you most proud of? My Year 3 handwriting certificate from Sister Suzanne – you would understand why if you saw my handwriting! No, my proudest accomplishment is my family. A happy home life takes effort, compromise, and a lot of love. I have a wonderfully supportive family, and I am grateful for that each day.

  • Tell us something that might surprise us about you. I can juggle! Many years ago, I worked at a school that had a 'student uni' session each Friday afternoon for a term. Students had the opportunity to teach their peers and staff a skill they had mastered. I was fortunate to have a child in my class who completed a circus course the previous holidays, and she taught a huge group of children (and teachers) to juggle.

Thanks to Mark for taking the time to tell our community a little bit about yourself! It's great having you at St Mark's!