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Aaron Mackinnon is an educationalist and leader whose work has focused on building progressive approaches toward education through meaningful, authentic, human-centered educational communities.

Aaron blends his naturally creative, visionary, and highly relational style in a uniquely pragmatic and strategic way that builds safe, inclusive, and high-performing teams that lead educational change for young people. His work has been at the forefront of progressive approaches toward education within nationally and internationally recognized schools.

Recently Aaron’s work involved the start-up of a micro-school for twice exceptional learners in Seattle, USA. This work focused on a strengths-based, talent-focused paradigm, which supported the immense intellectual and creative abilities of its students and shifted away from the traditional deficit model. His leadership included the ideation and conception of various bespoke programs that centered on the pillars of student autonomy, purpose, and mastery.

Before his work at Bridges Academy, Seattle, Aaron’s impact was seen across various education contexts within Melbourne, Australia. Aaron’s fingerprints and influence were visible in his leadership at Templestowe College in Melbourne’s east, a highly progressive school that actively challenged the educational status quo so that all its students were empowered to learn. Within this space, Aaron held the role of Assistant Principal with a portfolio of Community and Wellbeing and later, Innovation, People, and Culture. Here Aaron designed and led the launch of the community pastoral care model, community-integrated learning, and mentor programs, all of which were significant levers in enhancing students’ sense of empowerment and connectedness.

Aaron’s commitment to empowering students by amplifying their voice and agency has been a hallmark of his career. His achievements in this area were recognised by the Australian Council of Educational Leaders, which honored him with the New Voice in Educational Leadership award in 2016.

In addition to his work with students, Aaron has demonstrated a passion for fostering teacher development and promoting academic excellence. As a Teaching Fellow at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne, he played a key role in supporting teacher candidates, nurturing their professional growth, and helping them integrate into partner school communities. His participation in the design and facilitation of leadership programs, such as the Impact: Emerging Leaders course at the Bastow Institute, underscores his dedication to cultivating leadership talent and encouraging educational innovation.

Aaron spends his free time with his family, traveling, practicing his art, cycling, gardening, and sipping coffee.

Aaron’s multifaceted background in progressive, human-centered education and the arts positions him to lead Preshil School into a bright future defined by innovation and student-centered growth.

We invite you to start a conversation with us to learn more about Aaron and Preshil.