FIRST-TIME principal Jacqueline Piggott is delighted with her latest role because she feels it is "such an exciting time" to be in education.
"It's moving and changing so fast, and the influence of technology is so big as well," she said.
"This is an opportunity for local schools to really look at their community and what educational opportunities they can provide."
Ms Piggott began her new role as principal of Lake Illawarra South Public School last week, after a two-year stint as Gerringong Public School's assistant principal.
Prior to that, the Coolangatta resident taught at Jamberoo and in the Bankstown area.
Ms Piggott is one of six principals in the Illawarra and South Coast region joining more than 60 first-time principals throughout NSW.
"I'm really excited and looking forward to the challenge," the 42-year-old said of her new position.
"I've always loved teaching; even when I was younger I loved taking groups of kids to various things.
"I've always loved working with people and the industry just appealed to me."
Ms Piggott's new school is one of 229 throughout NSW taking part in a federal-state funding partnership, which means as principal, she will have more control over the school's budget and staff.
Education Minister Adrian Piccoli said it was the start of a new era for NSW public school principals.
"Local Schools, Local Decisions is a major improvement to how schools are run, with principals being given greater authority to make decisions about the selection of their staff and the way their budgets are spent," he said.
"We have freed principals to make the decisions required to better support their students at the time support is needed, instead of having to wait for an answer from State Office.
"This means schools can now break free from the one-size-fits-all approach that has previously made it hard for schools to innovate and adapt to meet the needs of their students and communities."
Ms Piggott was pleased with the initiative.
"It enables us to ask questions like, what are the needs of the community? Where do we need to focus our funding that will help children get the quality education they deserve?" she said.
"I like to really work with my community, staff and the kids.
"Kids are clever about where they want to go and what they want to learn about."
Although she would not be actively teaching in the classroom, Ms Piggott said she wanted to maintain a hands-on role and share students' experiences.
"It's about providing quality for every child and seeing them as an individual," she said.