GERRINGONG Public School's Joy Fullagar's approach to her staff and students has earned her recognition from her peers.
Mrs Fullagar received an award for excellence in leadership demonstrated by a principal at the Excellence in Education awards.
The award is given to principals who demonstrate an 'exemplary' ability to influence others to achieve changes and improvements within their school.
The staff and students at the school used the words, "passionate, committed, innovative, collegial, supportive and collaborative" to describe their principal of seven years, however it was colleagues at Minnamurra and Lake South public schools who nominated her for the honour.
"I'm delighted to receive recognition - lots of people work hard so it's nice to be recognised," she said.
Mrs Fullagar said leadership was not just for the school's executive.
"Even though it's my name on the award, it's not just my leadership," she said.
"I encourage other staff members to take on roles in the school."
Mrs Fullagar said what set Gerringong apart was its flexibility - units of work are prepared for the students, but they can follow their interests and decide what they would like to study in more detail.
"It's not about rote learning anymore - it's about applied learning," she said.
"We teach them how to learn and how to investigate... It's important to their development that they can try different things."
She said the school's results were mostly above the state average as a result.
Kiama High School's Terry Wild received an award for an excellent contribution beyond the classroom by a teacher.
His award recognised his work with the school's vocal group and his efforts to organise performance opportunities for them.