WARRACKNABEAL Secondary College principal Michael Briggs-Miller is the first person in a revolutionary teacher training program to become a principal.
Mr Briggs-Miller took part in a Teach for Australia program – an intensive program that recruits people with an existing degree to teach in an educationally disadvantaged school for at least two years.
The course starts with a six week in-residence program with equates to a Master of Secondary Teaching degree.
Then participants get straight into teaching at their designated school for the remainder of the training, in an apprenticeship-type format.
Mr Briggs-Miller – originally from Dandenong – said it was the perfect pathway for him.
“I’d been a youth worker for a little bit and was a chaplain at a school,” he said.
“That’s when I decided I wanted to go down the teaching pathway.
“I was looking at a graduate diploma but then I was at a friend’s house and a mutual friend was in the Teach for Australia program.
“It was then I found out the program got you to teach in disadvantaged areas of hard to staff schools straight away.”
Mr Briggs-Miller made the big move across the state and did his training at Horsham College, where he received mentor support from the school and Teach for Australia.
After his two year stint, Mr Briggs-Miller stayed at the school for another two years.
He then took an opportunity to become Assistant Principal at Warracknabeal Secondary College halfway through last year
Mr Briggs-Miller secured the principal position late last year.
He said he didn’t expect his career to progress so fast.
Mr Briggs-Miller said the Wimmera was the perfect place for himself and his young family.
“We initially rented, then we bought a house and we just bought our second house,” he said.
“We love it, the kids love it.
“It’s a real privilege to be part of a network in the Wimmera.
“I’ve been really lucky to be trained and supported by Teach for Australia and the local teachers.”
He said the course was also a great way to get into teaching.
“I would recommend it to anyone with a particular passion overcoming social disadvantage and providing leadership in schools,” he said.