Introducing Steven O’Connor, Head of School 6-12
Our new Head of School 6-12 is a man who believes that relationships are at the heart of a school’s growth and success and the key to the successful education of children. Although this has been learnt through his long experience as a teacher and educational leader, he initially gained this insight from Sister Beverly Zimmerman, his Modern History teacher at St Joseph’s High School in Aberdeen in the Hunter Valley.
Steven O’Connor MLitt, MEd, Grad Dip RE, DipEd, BA credits Sister Bev and his inspiring Josephite teachers for setting him on his career path which has not wavered from education.
“Sister Bev was a great intellect who took me from being a rather rough and ready 16-year-old and really influenced my own intellectual and personal development”, he says.
Mr O’Connor continued to come across Sister Bev at the University of New England while studying his undergraduate degree. While she was writing her PhD she continued to mentor him, helping him understand the importance of connection with children. “If you understand, respect and ultimately nurture relationships the connection will work. Then the world’s your oyster”, he says.
Mr O’Connor has been Principal of All Saint’s College in Bathurst and of the budding Trinity College at Albury. Through harnessing the team and building relationships, Trinity in his time was able to double its enrolments to 1100 and move from a struggling school in its pioneer years to a school with wonderful facilities and a secure and strong financial position. He has also taught at St Patrick’s College Ballarat, Thomas Carr College Melbourne, St Stanislaus’ College Bathurst and Saint Ignatius College Riverview.
He says his first weeks at Santa Sabina College have been wonderful. “There are so many really clear signs that the community is vibrant and genuine. I’ve met so many great girls – I don’t know their names yet but they’re still happy to look me in the eye and stop and have a chat. I think that speaks volumes about how they view their school and how connected they feel with teachers and other staff. The school has a great sense of purpose and direction!”
“I’m thrilled to be working on this beautiful campus with its wonderful resources and staff who are committed to achieving the best outcomes with and for our students”
Mr O’Connor likes to spend weekends with his family and friends, particularly getting involved with his children’s sports. He looks forward to long walks with his wife and loves the company of friends around a meal cooked at his home.