Loredana Borello is the Principal of Brescia House Secondary School in Johannesburg, South Africa. Brescia House School is a Catholic Ursuline All Girls Independent School from K-12.
As a principal, she is passionate about empowering and educating girls to take up their place as leaders in society, equipped with courage and compassion. She also is interested in mentorship, which was the focus of the research for her Masters in Education from the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg. Mentoring student teachers and interns in the practice of teaching is a vital responsibility to ensure that students are taught by dedicated and passionate teachers. In addition, she loves reading about leadership and personal development.
Questions & Answers with Loredana Borello
WDP: Welcome to Principal Matters podcast! Can you fill in the gaps on that intro and tell us something listeners may be surprised to know about you?
Loredana Borello: After 30 years in the classroom, I returned to school for my Masters degree. One is never too old to start being a student again!
WDP: Can you tell us more about your school? What do you find are the challenges and opportunities of leading in an All Girls School?
Loredana Borello: There is a quite a diversity of schools in South Africa. Brecia House is a very well-resourced Catholic school. Each school has similarities and differences in the facing the pandemic. Being an all-girls school, there are some common challenges: educating the whole-child. For girls to really believe they are enough as they are. Who they are is more important than what society tells them what a woman should be or how they should be behave. The opportunity an all-girls has is to educate young girls that they are enough and take a place at the leadership table. I’m committed to courage and compassion.
From K-12, our school has roughly 900 girls. We have a principal for the primary school, and I am at the high school. I’ve taken up this position as head of Brecia in my third year now. To inspire the teachers that what they do also is paramount.
WDP: How has leading through a pandemic affected your own school community?
Loredana Borello: Like I’m sure with many, we have had our ups and downs. Getting protocols all happening was important, but the economic crisis made it difficult for many families to not be able to pay school fees. With those pressures also came the emotional and psychological challenges for our students. Our psychologists and social workers had to reach out to many of them to help them through it. The learning became a huge opportunity for teamwork.
The opportunities created from this space gave us opportunities to do some things differently: holding parent/teacher meetings on screens, allowing students to stay connected, hosting online music concerts, bake-offs, daily prayers/meditation, and doing physical activity challenges.
We are back in school, but we do have some students who have not been able to return. So we have hybrid learning opportunities. As long as we’ve had protocols in place, school has been the safer place to be.
Let’s Wrap This Up
Listen to the entire episode for even more great takeaways from Principal Borello’s experiences, including how mentoring has played a role with serving students and how she pracitecs self-care! You can stay connected with Loredana Borello at https://www.brescia.co.za or by email at email@example.com
Now It’s Your Turn
In what ways has the pandemic re-shaped your service to your own school community? I’d love to hear your story. Reach out by email at firstname.lastname@example.org