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7 Questions on Leadership with Jacq Vreeling

Name: Jacq Vreeling

Title: Head of Middle School

Organisation: Glasshouse Christian College

I have been in a Head of School (deputy principal) role for over 15 years now. I love working with students and staff to create the optimal environment for all to flourish.

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Jacq's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

I find working with people who are unwilling to be open-minded. However, I have found this is rare and if it occurs, patience and kindness win out - but it can take time!

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

I was encouraged already a few years into my teaching but waited until I had more years of experience. I had a young family and I wanted to prioritize them at the time.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

I start with an hour of exercise and then have breakfast with my husband. I then work hard from around 7:00 a.m. until about 6:00 p.m. most days. I get home and love cooking - it's my space to unwind. I often try not to work after this but sometimes I have to. I try to get to bed soon after 9.00 pm as I wake up so early!

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

I am constantly reminded that people come first. Almost every day I get lost in the sea of emails and my to do list - then I walk around the playground or sit down and eat my lunch in the staffroom - and I am reminded that this is my bread and butter!

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

Brenee Brown's book Dare to Lead. I love her vision of the importance of being vulnerable and real.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

It is hard work! But worthwhile. Don't be romantic about the job but set mini goals and your own vision for the work and stay the course when little things are distracting.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

I recently had a conversation that didn't go well. I wasn't happy with it and when I thought over it for a few days, I decided to address it. That was really tough but it set good boundaries. I was discreet and followed the processes, this is so very important as a leader as confidentiality and your example are both of paramount importance. Standing up for yourself is also important - in a kind and appropriate way.

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