New John McGlashan College principal Neil Garry wants to
create 'a level playing field' at the school. Photo by
Neil Garry is not wasting any time in laying out plans to
bring his visions for John McGlashan College to fruition, now
that he is officially in the hot seat.
The 54-year-old was appointed principal of the integrated
boys' school in October last year, but was coy about his
plans until yesterday.
He said he was honoured to be the 11th principal of the
college, and was looking forward to building on the good work
done by former principal Mike Corkery and ''giving some fresh
perspectives and serving the McGlashan community''.
One of his first initiatives was to create what he called ''a
level playing field'', where every boy was able to maximise
his opportunities and reach his potential by overcoming
weaknesses and capitalising on his strengths.
''We want a McGlashan education to be holistic; to develop a
boy's character so that when he leaves school we've helped
him mature, taught him to respect others and given him a
bigger picture of the world.''
Mr Garry said this year would be the first year where every
pupil would have their own laptop or iPad.
Many of the boys were incredibly IT savvy, so the college
needed to take advantage of their ''skill and fearlessness'',
''Challenges still exist in blending the use of e-learning
within the curriculum, but McGlashan has been a leader in
this area and we will continue to support the staff in their
The college is fortunate to have the Edgar Learning Centre
and the Davies Sports Centre, and Mr Garry said he would like
to add a performing arts centre to the college's
It would create a new cultural hub for the school, and early
this term a group of staff would form a cultural committee to
develop and advance the opportunities in areas such as music,
drama and pipe band, he said.
There are also plans to upgrade and modernise the college's
junior boarding house, to bring it up to the same standard as
the senior boarding house.
In terms of the overall culture of the school, while it was
based on strong moral values, he intended to maintain and
further develop the culture in the best interests of the
boys, Mr Garry said.
''I subscribe to a model of leadership where the workplace
culture is largely autonomous; one where staff have a shared
passion and vision for their work and are trusted to get on
with their job in a professional manner.
''I have no time for posers. In teaching, as in life, I think
you have to believe in what you're doing, trust your
instincts and maintain your integrity.
''My focus has always been on doing what's right for the
''Just as in a family, if the adults model good behaviour,
then other things will fall into place.''