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Our Principal, Mrs Donella Beare, reflects on the sad passing of her colleague and our dear former Principal, Dr Glenda Parkin.

Dr Glenda Parkin was the first Principal I worked for at St Stephen’s School and was the epitome of a ‘Servant Leader’. She led St Stephen’s School with humility and faith, however, her understanding that relationships were at the heart of what was needed to be successful resonated with those she worked with. Glenda ‘walked’ alongside you and encouraged you to be better than you thought you could be.

 Glenda’s focus was always on students and she was tough when she needed to be if it meant better outcomes for students. I will always remember her saying to me ‘ every decision you make has one bottom line, how will it improve student outcomes.’ I think sometimes people forget this aspect of her and don’t remember her strength. 

 Glenda re-structured St Stephen’s School in line with the School’s growth and she oversaw growth at a rapid rate. This caused her, in part,  to make a career decision to move on from the School because she was losing contact with students and staff, to a lesser degree, due to the growth of the School, her role was changing. She wanted to return to the ‘traditional’ Principal role where you went to every event and knew each student by name. This was simply not possible and she understood this. She knew that with great success there would be the need to relinquish certain aspects of her role. She was a realist despite her unbridled enthusiasm for new ventures.

Glenda was an outstanding educator; she was fierce in her belief that education was the way for a person to grow. She was kind, loyal and strong. Glenda was not perfect, none of us are, she had her own areas of ‘failings’ however, she never pretended to be anything or anyone she wasn’t. She would not take the accolades for a ‘job well done’, she would be clear to say it was a team effort. She could laugh at herself and admit when she got something ‘wrong’. 

 I was privileged to work with her and for her, she simply was a woman of intelligence , kindness, humour and integrity.

 Dr Glenda Parkin was highly respected by all who knew her and I know that she is the reason I am where I am today. 

 A woman of dignity and grace who will be missed.

Mrs Donella Beare, Principal