Meet our Assistant Principal

For a recent issue of our weekly Bulletin, Mr Zielinski (or Mr Z)  answered a series of questions with School Council President, Nicole Whitty.

My greatest strength is my ability to collect nicknames for myself. The most recent ones include:
  • Zucchini
  • Mister Computer
  • Mrs. Alinski
  • Oi! You.
  • Ben
  • Zeddekins

How long have you been at BSPS and what made you apply?
I have been at BSPS since the beginning of 2018. I started my career at Sandringham Primary School and loved working there, but there came a time where I was looking for a new challenge. I have an interest in working with teachers on their practice, coaching and technology and BSPS is a wonderful place to do all these things. Also, I have a personal interest in language and its importance in learning and communication. Our bilingual setting has taught me so much and I still have much to learn.

What does an Assistant Principal do?
It depends on the day! I try to spend most of my time with students and teachers, that’s why people are surprised when they find me in my office. I manage most of the technology in the school, devices, Microsoft Teams, Sentral and our assessment platforms. I coach teachers in improving practice and look after the day to day staffing. Anytime there is a teacher absent, I help to replace them. I work with our Leading Teachers and Learning Specialists to prepare professional development for our staff. I coordinate the Program for Students with Disabilities and liaise with key workers such as psychologists, counsellors, speech pathologists and occupational therapists. I put out cones to alert people when the Hooded Plovers are nesting on the portables and I am also the person that gets called if something is not working or is broken… this includes toilets! 

There’s a green Holden EK Special in the carpark, is it yours?
Yes, his name is Fella and he has the heart of a champion. We have been together for 19 years. 

Who is in your family, and do you have any pets?
I live in Selby with my wife Lily, my son Scout and my daughter Lux. We have a cat called Battlecat who is obsessed with licking foggy windows. We also have two miniature goats named Johnny Utah and Bodhi who help us eradicate all the invasive weeds on our forest-like property. Currently we have a wombat living under our house who is rearranging our heating ducts too! 

What is your favourite bit of the day?
I really love the moment that students move from the ‘tuning in’ part of a lesson to the independent and small group learning. I come from a play based learning background and love seeing brains firing and trying things out.

Your hair is the envy of our older male students, what is your favourite styling product?
I tend to switch each time I run out. The key is to never wash your hair. The dirt and microbes keep things stylish.

Which is your favourite BSPS value and why?
Honesty. Ask any student that I have taught, and they will tell you that I never lie! I believe that it is important for children to understand that there may be questions that we cannot answer just yet, but there will be a time in the future where we will be able to answer them. 

On a scale of 1 to 10, how good were our students and parents/carers at adapting to home learning?
11/10. The feedback we received from students, parents and teachers helps us improve all the time. We know that students are quick learners when it comes to tech, but most of our teachers turned into tech experts in such a short time. I am continually inspired not only by their ability, but their innovation and tech journey. Parents, you have been so accommodating of this change and very calm when giving feedback or reaching out for help. As a parent with two learners at home, I can understand the challenges that come with Home Learning.

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