My name is John Cortese. I am Principal of Notre Dame College, having taken up the role at the start of 2013. I grew up in Merrigum on a dairy farm. My schooling was completing Prep at Merrigum PS, Grades 1-10 (incl.) at St Augustine’s in Kyabram and HSC at St Colman’s in Shepparton (which, after a merger with Sacred Heart College, is now Notre Dame College. I completed B.Sc (Ed) at Melbourne University, followed by a variety of post grad studies at Melbourne University and online courses at Harvard University. My lovely wife Sue is a Kyabram girl. My children are Stephanie (25 yo Physio in Bendigo) and Nathan (22 yo studying at Melb Uni). I have 2 older sisters (one who lives in Mooroopna) and a twin brother (who lives in Shepparton). I have taught in metropolitan and rural schools in DEECD all my life in 4 different Regions. I was a long term teacher at Mooroopna SC (12 years) and for 12 years was Principal of Red Cliffs SC. For the past 4.5 years, I worked in the Regional Office at Ballarat (last 2.5 years as Assistant Regional Director). Sport is one of my great loves. During my football career, I played at Merrigum, Uni Blues, Melbourne FC (2nds), and Tongala and Shepparton in the Goulburn Valley Football League. I was fortunate to achieve Premierships and B&Fs through my careers and often reflect on the people I met through football. I play social tennis and cricket. The mighty dees (Melbourne FC) are my team of choice. I have a passionate belief that schools have a responsibility to develop young men and women who fit into our society and who also strive to be leaders in our world. Our schools must ensure that these students have the desire and passion as well as the ability, knowledge and skills to “right” the many ills and wrongs that exist in our world. Our schools have the responsibility to educate our students (make them literate and numerate). Our schools must develop a caring person who strives for personal success and betterment but also strives for success and betterment for all mankind. To achieve this second part, our schools must develop leadership skills in our students. I am a huge believer in using QUOTES. One of the most powerful ones that I use refers to students view of teachers, namely: “They will not care how much you know until they know how much you care” by Aristotle.