A 40-week investment at Moree Secondary College is a winning formula for life

“INVEST the 40 weeks of your HSC course in the next 40 years of your life” is sound advice from Moree Secondary College executive principal, Peter Sheargold, who thrives on inspiring students in the classroom – and beyond.

And with more than 20 years’ experience as a principal, including two as a director in the NSW public education system, he knows a thing or two about educational leadership.

 With his parents having both enjoyed teaching careers, he laughs that this path was in his genes, and that he knew from a very early age that teaching was his destiny.

“I grew up in Moss Vale in NSW before attending University in Sydney where I completed a Bachelor of Arts degree,” Peter said.

A two-year backpacking stint through Europe, the Middle East and Asia further broadened his horizons, and cemented his teaching aspirations.

Moree Secondary College executive principal Peter Sheargold behind the desk on Tuesday (Image Copyright Bill Poulos).

Upon his return to Australia, Peter completed a Dip Ed in 1980, with his first appointment to West Wyalong High School in 1981setting a course for his stellar career.

After stints as principal in Warren Central School, Yanco Agricultural High School and Kotara High School in Newcastle, Peter accepted a position as director of the Connected Communities schools – 15 rural and remote schools including Bourke, Walgett, Coonamble, Wilcannia and Moree Secondary College.

“Connected Communities provided an exciting opportunity to really consolidate everything I’d learnt throughout my career, and further encourage meaningful educational outcomes,” Peter said.

“I was thrilled to be offered the position as director, and help spearhead genuine change in some of our most isolated communities.”

In 2016 Peter was asked to relieve in the position as executive principal at Moree Secondary College for one term.

“I liked what I saw in the community, the staff and the students – and the rest is history,” he laughed.

Two years later and Moree Secondary College has well and truly claimed Peter.

And, it seems, the feeling is mutual.

“I love the energy in the place, the willingness to try new things and the unapologetic desire to help the students reach their potential,” he said.

“I like the connection the school has to our indigenous heritage, it’s a very special community in which we live, and I feel very fortunate to be able to help harness relationships and shape a new generation based on knowledge, respect and kindness.”

Words: Georgina Poole

Image: Bill Poulos