Taking the reins at Westminster

By Tasha Crumpler
New Times Intern

Posted in Leadership

Westminster School, a Uniting Church coeducational day and boarding school established in 1961, has welcomed Simon Shepherd as its sixth principal.

Before his career in education, Simon, fresh out of high school in the ‘80s, joined the Australian Army, but after experiencing a partial loss of hearing he was unable to continue. This led him to an eventful year of trying his hand at different jobs to ultimately find his way into education, firmly believing that “like a career in ministry, a career in education is a calling.”

Westminster will be the third Uniting Church School in which Simon has worked, and his second appointment as a principal. He believes that the Uniting Church shows an exemplary ability to give care and compassion to others, one reason why Simon is so passionate about working within a Uniting Church school.

“I admire the Uniting Church’s philosophy and dynamism, and their nature to be open and accepting,” he says.

Based in Marion, Westminster has a well-established reputation as a school with a strong community spirit. During his time as principal, Simon is aiming to pave the way for Westminster to become renowned for encouraging and building leadership. He is also keen for Westminster students “to be useful and to be kind”, echoing the words past US President Barack Obama used to describe his aims for his daughter in an interview.

“I’d like our students to become known for showing empathy and for their emotional intelligence,” he says.

“I want Westminster to continue helping our graduates to be self-confident, to have a perceived self-efficacy, be prepared to help others, and give beyond what other society members aren’t prepared to do.”

For more information about Westminster School and Simon Shepherd, please visit the Westminster website here or the Facebook page here.

Photo: Westminster School Principal Simon Shepherd (third from left) with Uniting Church SA Moderator Rev Sue Ellis, staff and students.

More from Leadership

Subscribe to receive Leadership articles by email >


Three leadership cop outs that sound spiritual, but aren’t

Canadian pastor, author and blogger Carey Nieuwhof will visit Seeds Uniting Church on Monday 7 May for GLS+ 2018. In this article, Carey writes about how some spiritual-sounding lines from leaders can be barriers to moving forward.


Sunny’s call to service

As a child, Rev Sunil “Sunny” Kadaparambil dreamed of becoming a missionary. He has followed this calling from India to remote ministry in Australia, with his second placement bringing him to the Parkin-Sturt Patrol in SA.


A focus on the future

Mark Schultz was recently announced as the new Team Leader for Mission Resourcing; he is also due to be ordained as a Minister of the Word in February. New Times spoke to Mark about leadership and the Uniting Church.


Comments (2)

  1. Warren Mossman 06 december 2017, 18:15 Link
    I think it would have been nice to give recognition to each person in this pic by naming them
    1. Catherine Hoffman, Editor 07 december 2017, 09:23 Link
      Thanks for your comment, Warren. Unfortunately, we did not have access to the names of every individual pictured at the time of publishing. We can certainly look into this though. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.