Kevin Tutt: Prince Alfred College headmaster quits for Cambodian Children's Fund teaching positionAdelaide Now | The Advertiser | 3 November 2013
Mr Neeson, 54, abandoned his glittering 26-year movie career - in which he oversaw the release of blockbusters such as Titanic, Braveheart, Independence Day and X-Men - in 2004 to establish the charity, which helps feed, clothe and educate children living on a toxic rubbish dump in the Steung Meanchey landfill district.He said Mr Tutt would strengthen its "award-winning education program"."Our goal is to strengthen our education infrastructure and improve the quality of teaching and learning," he said.
HE has been in charge of one of South Australia's elite private schools for the past decade.
But Kevin Tutt has made the extraordinary decision to resign as Prince Alfred College headmaster to help some of the world's most underprivileged children in Cambodia.
The Sunday Mail can today reveal he has quit his lucrative position to become head of teaching and learning at the Cambodian Children's Fund, in the country's capital, Phnom Penh.
His new role, which involves a significant pay cut, includes leading the development of a kindergarten to Year 12 educational program for 1500 orphaned and disadvantaged children.
It caps a remarkable 38-year educational career and is in stark contrast to his past 16 years at the all-boys college, at Kent Town, in Adelaide's east, where he started as the deputy headmaster.
Mr Tutt, 57, was recruited last month by former Hollywood executive Scott Neeson, who grew up in Elizabeth, in Adelaide's north, and who later became the $1m-a-year president of 20th Century Fox International.
But the announcement of his new job, which is believed to pay at least a quarter of what an elite Adelaide private school principal would earn, left PAC staff, students and parents shocked.
"There was an element of surprise as well as some disappointment but what I also found was an enormous sense of understanding, support and admiration for what I intend on doing," said Mr Tutt, a father-of-three, who is about to have a second grandchild.
"There is no other school in Adelaide, or indeed Australia, where I want to teach. For me it is a huge challenge and an opportunity that is genuinely going to make a difference - that has been my motivation.
"In general, the school community have been hugely supportive about what I am doing."
During his time at PAC, which charges almost $22,000 a year for day students, he is credited with overhauling the school's operations and curriculum and overseeing an extensive building works program, such as construction of a $15 million multipurpose gym.
The school, which has employed 10 headmasters in its 144-year history, will now embark on an international recruitment drive to find his replacement.
Mr Neeson, 54, abandoned his glittering 26-year movie career - in which he oversaw the release of blockbusters such as Titanic, Braveheart, Independence Day and X-Men - in 2004 to establish the charity, which helps feed, clothe and educate children living on a toxic rubbish dump in the Steung Meanchey landfill district.
He said Mr Tutt would strengthen its "award-winning education program".
"Our goal is to strengthen our education infrastructure and improve the quality of teaching and learning," he said.
"We want our schools to reach Western standards. To do so, CCF requires a world-class head of teaching and learning to identify and implement the best available education practices.
"While we had mighty ambitions for the teaching and learning candidate, the appointment of Kevin well-exceeded our expectations. We have, in short, lucked-out".
The charity helps more than 30,000 impoverished families "who live in one of the world's most destitute and toxic environments".
Families struggled to survive on $2 or less a day they made selling recyclables scavenged from mountains of garbage.
In a letter to parents and old scholars, Dr Ben Tidswell, the PAC council chairman, paid tribute to the head's "dedicated service" to the school.
"The College Council thanks Mr Tutt for his significant contribution to the advancement of the [school] ... which has laid a very firm foundation for the ongoing success of Princes," he said.