School of Education Alumni network invites connections

Published in Issue 4 - 2016

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SCU Alumnus Martina Baumer, previous lecturer Dr Neville Jennings, Elanora SHS teacher Darren McSwaine and Varsity College teacher Julie Kereszteny

SCU Alumnus Martina Baumer, previous lecturer Dr Neville Jennings, Elanora SHS teacher Darren McSwaine and Varsity College teacher Julie Kereszteny

Education graduates from Southern Cross University are invited to join the newly-formed SCU School of Education Alumni Network which launched on the Gold Coast in October.

Former Southern Cross University lecturer Dr Neville Jennings established the network and said it would enable alumni to communicate with former colleagues and lecturers.

Those interested in the network are invited to join the SCU School of Education Alumni Network LinkedIn group and get more information via the scu.edu.au/alumni website.

“As a former lecturer, I have been working with a team of education alumni and current staff members to establish this network,” Dr Jennings said.

“At the Gold Coast launch we outlined the rationale and objectives of the network and introduced a number of alumni including Darren McSwaine, from Elanora State High School, and Julie Kereszteny, an award-winning science teacher from Varsity College on the Gold Coast.

“My initial focus was to get a message to people living in the local Northern Rivers, Tweed and Gold Coast areas involved, but it has since gone further as more connections are being made with graduates who have gone on to international careers.

“We have created this network as a point of contact for graduates of School of Education programs.

“There are potentially thousands of former students who may wish to use this network to communicate with fellow graduates and to be informed about the School’s current research activities.”

Head of the University’s School of Education Professor Faye McCallum launched the network in October and spoke about future links between the School of Education and alumni members, and introduced other members of the organising committee including Dr Robert Smith and Jubilee Smith from the School of Education, and SCU alumnus Martina Baumer, who is a PhD candidate at the University of Queensland.

Elanora State High School teacher Darren McSwaine, who was recently voted the Gold Coast’s best secondary teacher by state school principals across the city, is a founding member of the network.

Mr McSwaine was awarded the ‘Teacher of the Year’ title by the Secondary Principals Alliance Gold Coast Australia.

Darren is the Dean of Students and year 10 coordinator at Elanora, while still teaching a handful of maths classes, and says he is thankful for the preparation he received as a student himself at Southern Cross University, graduating with a Graduate Diploma of Education in 2006.

“What I love most about my job is seeing kids succeed,” said Mr McSwaine, whose roles focus on student welfare, behaviour and discipline.

Mr McSwaine coached this year’s Elanora Open Rugby League team, which finished fifth in the Titans challenge and has worked with local police through Project Booyah, which he hopes will be reinstated with renewed funding for disengaged youth at the southern end of the Gold Coast.

Darren was also the founding coordinator of the maths element of the Xcelerate program for students in Year 6 in his district.

Alstonville High School teacher David Silcock who was a joint recipient of Southern Cross University’s 2016 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year award, and Urbenville Public School Principal Lauren Hankinson are other SCU Alumni success stories who have also connected to the Education Alumni group on LinkedIn.

Anyone who wants to know more about the network can visit the network’s webpage on the SCU Alumni and Development website.

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