Success for Master’s students

Four of the students who studied for a Master of Secondary School Leadership (MSSL) at Victoria University’s Faculty of Education in 2016 have moved into principal roles in New Zealand schools.

Ragne Maxwell
Principal of Porirua College Ragne Maxwell

One student from the 2016 cohort, Ragne Maxwell, believes the success she has had in her career is a direct result of studying the MSSL. Ms Maxwell accepted the position as Principal of Porirua College while still completing her Master’s studies.

“Without reservation, this course is well worth doing. Everything I am now doing as a Principal was what I learnt to do at Victoria. The course isn’t just about management, it teaches you effective leadership of people during change. There are so many things I wouldn’t have had the confidence and knowledge to take on during my first term as principal at Porirua College. I would’ve been really thrown by some challenges had I not done the MSSL. It is an absolutely outstanding course—I can’t recommend it highly enough for people who want to be principals.”

Ms Maxwell says a number of elements that make the MSSL such a valuable qualification.

“Trying to do a Master’s in two years on top of fulltime employment is an enormous challenge. But because of the pragmatic nature of the MSSL I was able to apply what I was doing in my job to the assignments in the course.

“The leadership module got us to explore ourselves as leaders and our qualities and beliefs around leadership through blog posts. Part of the assessment was responding to each other’s blogs—which meant we got to know each other really well. It has forged ongoing links and relationships, and professional support connections that I still have today.

“Another highlight was shadowing Principals in school. That was pure enjoyment. And now I not only have the support of the former Principal at Kapiti College and my cohort, but three other local professionals who will drop everything and help me because of the relationships forged through that course.

Ms Maxwell says the quality and support from Faculty of Education staff was an essential part of her success.

“The staff completely engaged with us throughout the MSSL. It wasn’t about delivering the course—it was about having a passion for producing high quality Principals for New Zealand. The staff believed in that, and have stayed in touch with me since, communicating with me and still helping me. I have no doubt that support will continue into the future.”