Dara holds a particularly special place for me, as I knew Dara before it had a home, when it was an incredible idea driven by a lady on a mission, Lynda McInnes. To be part of Dara’s inaugural staff and see our school grow and develop in a way that aligns with my own values and desire for children to have school that they can’t wait to get up in the morning and go to is professionally satisfying to say the least.
My passion for Dara and gifted education is one fuelled by my own experience as a learner who was placed in a “pull-out” gifted stream and accelerated, coupled with advocating for my own children’s need to be challenged. These elements formed the catalyst for my pursuit of teaching: I knew I wanted to be part of the change for gifted learners. To enable this, I graduated from Flinders University with a Master of Teaching (Primary), being awarded the Chancellor’s commendation for my academic achievements. I have gone on to complete a range of further professional development in meeting the specific needs of gifted learners, as well as in counselling.
In addition to teaching at Dara, my knowledge of differentiation, the practice of selecting, applying and evaluating the most effective ways to address student diversity, was recognised with my appointment as a teacher of Master’s students and final year teaching students at Flinders University for one of the “capstone” topics of Education: Differentiation.
I am also fortunate to bring knowledge and experience from my previous studies in Criminology and Management, receiving the Dux award for my graduating year. This was followed by a career in Project Management with South Australia Police (SAPOL), where I worked with agencies across the Justice Portfolio to research, design, implement and evaluate national and international policing programs. Leading and managing interdisciplinary teams for the purpose of positively contributing to South Australia was hugely rewarding and brought with it professional experience I am able to implement in my teaching career.
At the heart of my passion for gifted education is my belief that each child is unique and deserves to be nurtured and challenged in meaningful and authentic ways, in order to flourish academically, socially and emotionally.