GOROKAN Public School principal Jesmond Zammit was "still pinching myself" about being one of three Australians chosen to travel to the Harvard Graduate School of Education for a program to strengthen their leadership skills.
"It's an amazing opportunity and I haven't come to terms with it just yet, but I'm sure it will sink in slowly," Mr Zammit said.
"It was amazing to get the call I'd been successful because I know how hotly contested this opportunity is. For me to have been successful was such a great achievement."
The scholarship is valued at $16,000 and Mr Zammit will complete the Improving Schools: The Art of Leadership program, which starts on June 22 and runs for six days at the graduate school, part of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
He found out about the program after a staff member emailed him a link to the application.
"It was uncanny how some of my professional learning goals matched with the course objectives," Mr Zammit said. "They include strengthening my connection with people I work with and strengthening my knowledge about the application of research in terms of leadership.
"I have a big focus on building equity... in terms of opportunities for kids who come from challenging social backgrounds."
Mr Zammit, who has been principal at Gorokan for six years, said he was looking forward to studying in another country.
"If you don't keep learning you're not going to be the most effective leader you can be," he said.
"There's so much more to learn every time you connect with a different person. Their story and how they adapted their leadership to that context gives you an insight into what you could do when faced with a similar situation.
"It's a growth mindset. I'm really grateful for every day I'm in this privileged and influential role. The more learning I can do to make me a better leader the better I'm going to be for it and so will the students."
Mr Zammit received the scholarship alongside two other Australian principals, Karen Duncan from Harrisdale Primary School in Western Australia and Ann Caro from Lithgow High School.
NSW Department of Education secretary Mark Scott said it was wonderful to see two NSW public school principals recognised.
"This award not only recognises the work Ann and Jesmond have already done, but opens the door for them to build on, and share ... their leadership insights," he said.
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