St Hilda’s signals commercial focus
St Hilda's Anglican School for Girls has introduced two new executive roles as part of a push for greater commercial acumen in its management team.
The school, ranked 37th on the BNiQ list of private schools with 1,137 total enrolments, appointed Fiona Johnston as principal at the start of 2019 after she had spent seven years with the Australian International School in Singapore.
Mrs Johnston told Business News she reviewed the school structure when she came into the role, and decided that a decentralised management structure would benefit the institution.
“In order to create a financially sustainable future for schools, you really need to have the right mix of both educational expertise and business expertise at the executive level,” Mrs Johnston said.
“Historically, that’s not always been the case because the landscape was very different.”
The need for greater business knowledge in the school’s leadership drove the creation of the new roles of director of school development and philanthropy and director of people and culture, with Kellie Hasluck and David Scanlan appointed to those positions respectively.
Mr Scanlan joins the school after working as special counsel at Bartlett Workplace since July 2016.
Prior to that, he spent 18 months as employee relations manager at St John Ambulance WA, as well as 18 months as senior associate at multinational law firm Ashurst.
Mrs Johnston said culture was an overlooked aspect of schools, and that Mr Scanlan would focus on building a working environment that would make the school a preferred employer of choice.
“I’m a big believer that a principal sets the mood of a school, but they’re very complex organisations,” she said.
“I’m really looking forward to what he’ll bring to the table, and what he’ll offer to our staff as a point of contact.”
Mrs Johnston said the role would aid in cultivating and maintaining the school’s relationship with volunteers and financial contributors, which she believes were too often forgotten when discussing a school’s success.
“Kellie will bring to the position the ability to be able to build a community framework that acknowledges and thanks the people in our community who’ve been incredibly generous in the past,” she said.
News of the appointments comes after St Hilda’s purchased property in Pemberton for the development of its new Yeagarup Campus, scheduled for completion in 2021.