After 13 years at the helm of Port Macquarie Adventist School, Phil Lillehagen is looking for new challenges.
The principal will continue his dream of lifelong learning by completing his Masters of Education at Avondale College near Newcastle.
Mr Lillehagen has led the Port Macquarie School from a two-classroom school with 26 students to a school population of some 135 students in seven full-time classrooms.
"When I arrived here I was a teaching principal responsible for the years 3-6 class," he said.
"Now I'm predominately the go-to teacher if required.
"We have experienced some really good changes in the school during my time here," he said.
"The school currently teaches to year 6 but there are plans to look at introducing high school on this current site.
"We haven't got a start date yet, but we have undertaken some demographic studies. A lot of what we will do (expand) will be driven by enrolment numbers.
"The school has very solid enrolment numbers at the kindergarten and year 1 classes for next year with just a few spaces still available."
Mr Lillehagen says the school's goal is to provide quality education to the community in a Christ-centred environment.
He said the school is data driven and aims to make thinking visible in all the key areas.
"Being data driven means we don't just test students to get numbers, but we dissect those results to see how we can teach better," he added.
"We also have a focus on professional development for our teachers. This has also helped see solid performances in the school.
I believe it is important for teachers to be learners, because teachers then produce students who are learners. This is a learning journey for everyone.Phil Lillehagen
"I believe it is important for teachers to be learners, because teachers then produce students who are learners. This is a learning journey for everyone.
"This combined means that we are focused on student outcomes; education and faith outcomes which are important to us."
Another focus for Mr Lillehagen and the school is in developing on-going and meaningful community relationships.
This includes the reinvigoration of the Friday night Your Space project, which is a community tea held at the school.
The school will also host its popular Super Science Adventure Day on August 9 and 10. This event is for three to five year olds.
He said the school is also host to several groups and activities.
"It is all part of this school being really family-based," he added.
Mr Lillehagen, wife Shelisa and children Blake, 12, Zander, 9, and Kylan 16 months will remain at the school until the end of the year.
To book a place for the Super Science Adventure Day, contact the school office on 6582 2271.