Chiray FittonPrincipal

    Qualifications
    Masters of Music; Bachelor of Music; Graduate Diploma in Education; NAMTA Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies (USA); Member of Australian Heads of Independent Schools Associations (AHISA); in progress – Masters degree in Strategic Foresight Leadership.

    Biography
    Chiray has worked at the college since 2005 and is committed to ensuring the school realises the vision to be a world recognised Montessori program situated on the Sunshine Coast. Chiray’s teaching background has been mostly in the independent schools sector in New South Wales and Queensland. In 2004 she was awarded a Teaching fellowship with the Asia Education Foundation.

    Chiray is the first and remains the only Montessori Principal to be accepted as a member of the Association of Heads for Independent Schools Australia (AHISA) and resides, as the Queensland representative, on their executive committee for social issues. In 2008, Chiray successfully initiated corporate governance for Montessori International College and more recently was one of six Independent School Heads to be selected by Independent Schools Queensland to participate in a leadership program for innovative Principals. In addition to this, Chiray completed further executive training with Margaret Wheatley, Otto Scharmer and Peter Senge. She also resides on the National Curriculum Advisory Committee for the Montessori Australia Foundation and the Heads of Schools Advisory Council.  In 2013, Chiray was selected and sponsored by ISQ to complete executive education leadership training via the Queensland Education Leadership’s Institute. Chiray has been invited guest speaker for the Montessori Australia Foundation, Independent Schools Queensland and advisor for the development of the Wa Ora (NZ) Montessori School’s adolescent community.

    Why are you involved with Montessori Education?
    My curiosity for Montessori education began during my undergraduate years at university. For me, there was an immediate resonance with Dr. Montessori’s writings but at that time the avenues to explore Montessori teaching as a post graduate career were somewhat veiled and one was quickly re-directed toward a ‘legitimate’ career in education. Yet, here I am after many years in mainstream education. Another story for another time… Gathered at MIC, is a diverse collection of adults who are innovative, creative, curious, enthusiastic, successful and courageous. I use the word courageous because for some, choosing Montessori education is by no means the “easy” option. In fact, it is often far easier to follow the customary route of mainstream education. A growing proportion of MIC families have relocated from interstate and overseas to attend the college. These families and staff have made a deliberate decision to join MIC because education at MIC is about the children and education for the 21st century should look different to the models of the past.

    Years at Montessori International College
    11 years.

    How would you describe what you do?
    If I were to use a metaphor, it’s a little like the conductor of an orchestra. You share with the players the beauty of the composition and then guide each of the players to use their talent, soul and determination to refine their part.

    What’s your favourite thing about your role?
    I have two favorite things. The wonderful people I work with and hugs from the children.

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