The long-standing head of major private school Aquinas College, Mark Sawle, is taking something of sea change to become principal of a regional independent school.
Mr Sawle will join Great Southern Grammar in Albany at the start of the fourth term this year, ending nine years as headmaster of Aquinas and more than 20 years at the sprawling campus in Manning. Stuart Marquardt was the previous headmaster of GSG. He left GSG for Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar earlier this year and Richard Baird is as acting principal in the interim.
Although both are private schools with religious roots, the contrast is more marked than just the location. GSG was founded in 1998 as an independent school, taking in its first students the following year. Aquinas, which part of the Catholic system, claims a heritage dating back to 1894, and moved to its present location in the 1930s from St Georges Terrace. Aquinas is also a boys' school, while GSG is co-educational.
In terms of size, Aquinas had more than 1,350 students, ranking it 23rd in the BNiQ private schools list, while GSG, at 59th, had 842 students.
The vacancy at Aquinas will be advertised across Australia early in the third term.