‘I have been very lucky to come to such a great school ” the kids are terrific,’ he said.
‘It is a city school with a country feel.
‘I’ve been really impressed by the professionalism of the staff; the people work together really well.
‘I certainly want to maintain the great work that was started by (previous principal) Tony Watson.’
Mr Curtis said he had seen most of WA after holding several principal positions in country schools, including Mt Magnet, Beverley and Wongan Hills district high schools, as well as Kwinana, Karratha, Tom Price and Newman senior high schools.
He started teaching in 1981 and school administration as a deputy principal in 1991 and said he always enjoyed district high schools because of their family atmosphere.
‘You have got small kids around the bigger ones ” it feels more natural. It helps the high school kids learn the responsibilities,’ he said.
Mr Curtis, who has three grown-up children, said education was about imparting knowledge to children to prepare them for the workforce.
‘Constantly I have had to reinforce the message about what employers look for in future employees: a good work ethic and positive attitude (and) ability to learn,’ he said.
‘The philosophy should really be about enabling kids to think beyond what they think they are capable of (so they) can go further than perhaps he or anybody else thought.’
Mr Curtis said increasing student numbers meant increasing staff numbers and more diversity in programs offered for secondary students.
He said YDHS also seemed to buck the trend of predominantly female primary teachers, with a number of good male role models for primary students.
However, the principal said the common element for successful children was their home life.