As a teacher, where have you worked prior to coming to Fintona?
During my study, I taught at a range of schools including a small girls’ private school, a co-educational state school in the Eastern suburbs and a more diverse and challenging state school in the Western suburbs. I spent my first six years at a private, co-educational school in the outer western suburbs of Melbourne as a senior English teacher. I was an inaugural Head of House there with 200 students in my House from Years 7-12 who I looked after in a pastoral, discipline and academic sense. I went from there to Shelford Girls’ Grammar as the Head of the Middle School (Year 7-9) and English teacher (Year 7-12). The school is a similar size to Fintona. The role at Shelford was similar to my current position and I learned a lot about building relationships and working with people.
My husband and I then took a sea change, living on the Victorian West Coast where I taught at a country, Catholic co-educational school for a few years. This was a very rewarding experience, as the culture was so different to my previous schools, given that most of the students lived on nearby dairy farms. We then welcomed a son, Callum, into our family and I most recently have been at home with him, prior to returning to work part time initially and full time in 2013.
As the new Head of Senior School what have you found so far to be the most rewarding aspect of your job and what is the most challenging?
The most rewarding aspect is dealing with the amazing students at this school. Fintona students are so friendly and welcoming. They are also highly motivated, kind and inclusive. They enjoy the small size of the school and appreciate getting to know their teachers. It is wonderful to be a part of a school where the students are genuinely thrilled to be here, the families are encouraging and the teachers are passionate about their subjects, interested in every student as a learner, dedicated to their teaching and supportive of each other as colleagues.
The most challenging aspect is getting to know everybody and handling the diverse and wonderful range of things that are part of my role. It is also what I love about the job as I can spend time in a day with any number of students, their families and staff and I can also be organising a function, thinking about curriculum or finding out about a program that could potentially be put into place here. It is very busy but very exciting.
How would you best characterise a Fintona girl in the Senior School?
The girls in the Senior School are energetic and focused. I find them to be open minded and curious about the world, relishing opportunities to travel or learn about other experiences. They are also characterised by their kindness and support of each other. The girls are motivated to do well but not at the expense of others. They wish to help each other to do their best and are very proud of each other’s achievements.
Can you tell us what your interests are outside of school?
I have a great love of books, theatre, art and design and film. I love my family and spending time with my husband and son is always wonderful. I particularly love reading with my son and enjoying days at the beach immersed in nature. I love travelling and experiencing different cultures and food. I enjoy socialising with friends, cooking, walking and listening to good music, especially when I get a chance to see something live.