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2 November 2021

Get to know your Blackfriars leaders

As Blackfriars prepares to formally welcome a new Principal, Deputy Principal (Secondary) and Head…

As Blackfriars prepares to formally welcome a new Principal, Deputy Principal (Secondary) and Head of Primary, we asked our new leaders to tell us a little bit about themselves.

What were your best/worst subjects at school?

David Ruggiero (incoming Principal): Sciences were my best. Latin … it killed the Romans!

Brett Knowles (incoming Deputy Principal): PE and Geography were my best. My worst was doing dancing as part of PE! I wasn’t much good at Italian, either.

Emma Begg (incoming Head of Primary): My best subjects at school were Maths, Biology and Business Studies. I enjoyed Maths the most because I liked that mathematical problems were either right or wrong and weren’t open to interpretation. My worst subject at school, and the one I enjoyed the least, was PE. I always tried to avoid having to participate where I could.

Were you ever sent to the principal’s office?

DR: Never, ever!

BK: Never, not even close. My brother would have been, though!

EB: I was never sent to the principal’s office when I was at school.

In one word, what sort of student were you?

DR: Conscientious

BK: Careful

EB: Diligent

What do you like doing on the weekend?

DR: Spending lots of time with my family. Church. Gym. Gardening. Watching the Crows (or Port in a Preliminary Final). Visiting Bunnings (often).

BK: Watching my kids play sport, having a coffee with my wife and riding my bike.

EB: I like to spend time with my family. Unlike myself, my boys are sport crazy and love to play basketball. We spend most of our weekends in a basketball stadium. In my spare time, I like to go out for meals with family and catch up with friends.

What’s your favourite food?

DR: Pasta, especially spaghetti alle vongole.

BK: Bolognaise pasta or chocolate.

EB: My favourite food is Chinese food and I love to eat out at Chinese restaurants.

And your least favourite food?

DR: Anything that contains coriander.

BK: My least favourite food would be liquorice.

EB: I love most foods, however, my least favourite is brussels sprouts.

Port or Crows? Or neither?

DR: Crows and Adelaide United.

BK: Go the Saints, and I prefer the Power of the SA teams.

EB: Definitely Port!

Tell us something really surprising about yourself

DR: I have a passion for cooking and I grow a lot of chilli … the hotter the better; Carolina Reaper hot! 🥵

BK: I worked in variety of jobs (some not very well!) including as a labourer at a power station, in retail at a sports store, as a storeperson in a factory and as a coach before I started my teaching degree.

EB: I was a competitive swimmer when I was younger and used to swim six days a week.

What’s your best piece of advice for students?

DR: Rejoice in who you are and bring joy to others. Embrace challenges and failures as opportunities for growth.

BK: The same message I left for my eldest son when he started high school this year: try your best, work hard and be kind to others.

EB: Always try your best, to be the best that you can be and to surround yourself with people who encourage you and make you want to be better. I also like to tell students to never stop asking questions. The smartest people in the world are those who ask questions, because questions answered create new questions in the mind of a learner, and we are all learners.

Want to know more? You can read all about Mr Ruggiero here, Mr Knowles here and Mrs Begg here.