I am currently Deputy Principal at Mount Pleasant Primary School and have worked in the public education system for 30 years. My experience has been mainly in Central Wheatbelt schools as both a teacher and principal until my return to Perth in 2016. School boards are an integral part of the school community as they foster relationships between the school, staff, parents and the wider community. Being part of the school board allows for connections to drive new, exciting and innovative projects at a school level. It is a pleasure to be a member of the Kensington Secondary School Board and I look forward to my continued association with the school.
Sarah Dechow (Sally)
Sally is the mother of Hannah who has attended Kensington Secondary School since Year 7 and is a parent representative on the Board. Sally has also been involved with the P&C for several years both at Kensington Secondary School and Carson Street School. Sally is a Lawyer with over 25 years’ experience, having worked in private practice and in community legal centres practising in mental health law and currently in the youth sector as a youth law specialist.
Claire has been an educator for over 20 years. Formally a teacher in the primary school setting Claire worked in a number of country primary and district high school postings where she worked with a range of students in multi classroom settings. Claire and her husband farmed in the Central Wheat belt with their 3 children and then moved to Perth in 2008 where Claire took up the teaching position at Kensington Secondary School. She has been involved in the P&C and P&F within her local community, coaches’ netball at a local level and at Mercedes where her girls attend and has been an advocate for parent networking within the school setting. Claire is excited to be part of Kensington Secondary School board and being part of a strong, innovative and motivated school community.
Louise has over 20 years’ experience in the Oil and Gas Sector with major operating companies such as Exxon Mobil, Caltex and Shell. Within these organizations Louise had the opportunity to gain considerable and valuable experience in supply chain, trading and change management in which she played senior roles. Louise resigned from Shell Netherlands after thirteen years, deciding to relocate to WA as a lifestyle change for herself and family. After taking a two-year sabbatical, Louise chose not to return to the Oil and Gas sector, and instead set up her own business. Today she is founder of Davenport Home Staging and Styling providing a consultancy service and styling for owners of properties giving them the opportunity to achieve maximum value. Louise is a strong and committed advocate of valuing differences, and has always strived to ensure a fair representation to all in the workplace and community. She continues to be devoted to the sharing of experiences and insights, and always looks for ways to further develop and mentor other young professionals. Louise has served in various P&C and P&F executive roles within both state and private schools and enjoys liaising with school staff and community. As a mother of a special needs son, Louise is all too aware of the challenges families face in the education of children with disabilities and has thus been most active in the schools where her son has attended, supporting and assisting in areas where required. Louise is delighted at being a Board member at Kensington Secondary School and is looking forward to a collaborative and strong relationship with staff and families.
Eugene originally from Ireland, I came to Australia in 1985 with a background in Government Administration and Foreign Affairs. Studied various courses at Edith Cowan University from 1989-2000 obtaining my Education degree. I first came to South Kensington School in 1993 as a relief teacher and while on contract I discovered I had a passion for teaching teenagers and decided this is where I want to be. In 1998 I was appointed as a teacher to South Kensington School. In 2004 the name of the school was changed to Kensington Secondary School and in 2007 I was appointed as Deputy Principal of KSS. I am well known for travelling, swimming & cycling.
Following an invitation to join the Kensington Secondary School Board Russell has been able to share his experience from what he has learnt from the business and community service environments. Russell has formal qualifications in Business, Management, Mental Health, Training and Assessment, and Occupational Safety and Health. Russell’s previous experience includes 20 years in the Fire Service Industry as a Fire Officer holding positions of Career Firefighter through to the senior rank of District Manager. Russell also has 14 years of Membership with the Rotary Club of Belmont where he occupied Board positions for 10 years including the role as President. Many of these positions included both Operational Duties and working on and managing a variety of Special Projects requiring unique strategic focus and effort. Russell has extensive experience in team building and performance management working with primary school and secondary school communities on a number of occasions. Russell has working experience in projects which include the areas of Youth, Community and Disability Services. Russell has worked briefly as a disability employment consultant in the Disability Employment Services sector and as a Mental Health Support Worker. During this work Russell was able to work with and liaise with a comprehensive representation of government and private support services and organisations. Russell is at present focussed on volunteering, studying and working in the field of mental health and career development. He enjoys the aspects of mentoring, coaching and advocacy and states his main reason for joining the Board of Kensington Secondary School is to add value and strategic support to the Board in assisting the Kensington Secondary School in continuing to provide excellent educational services to and for its Students, their Families and the broader School Community.
I am passionate about delivering quality education to all students and understand that this sometimes requires changes to pedagogy. Managing transitions, particularly with regard to staff and community willingness to engage, is critical to the success of any planned endeavour. As a leader who enjoys a challenge, I am deeply conscious of how powerful the forces associated with change management are and am mindful of the need to positively and collaboratively engage people in bringing about transformation. I am not adverse to change and believe that supporting progress in a planned and methodical manner keeps education alive and meaningful in a rapidly changing world. I am a strategic manager and have actively guided teams and school communities through periods of substantial change. This planning includes future positioning organisations in curriculum, pedagogy, finances, assets, risk management and human resources. I have a diverse understanding of education from the regular and special needs perspectives and have applied this skill set in supporting staff and schools across the state. Underscoring everything is a deep seated passion for educating young people and preparing them for life beyond compulsory education. This is a profoundly satisfying preoccupation that drives every aspect of my management approach as I seek to align all those components that make a great school better. Essentially there is no rest in the pursuit for improvement in a world that truly is dynamic and ever changing and therefore good leadership is very much about anticipating the direction and velocity of that shifting landscape.
After completing her PhD in materials science, Lisa worked as an academic in the Engineering department at the University of Wollongong. While there she managed research projects and laboratories as well as teaching undergraduate students. During this time she also obtained a diploma of Education in Science education. In 2012 Lisa and her family moved to Perth where she left the university sector to focus on family concerns. Lisa has attended many courses and conferences examining disability issues with a particular focus on autism and behavioural difficulties. Through these and her education background, she has developed a passion for social justice issues and developing the best outcomes of all students. Lisa has three children who have all attended State schools in the South Perth area. She was a member of the board and a member of the P&C executive at Carson Street School prior to her daughter starting year 7 in 2019 at Kensington Secondary School. Lisa looks forward to developing relationships within Kensington Secondary School and working within the Board to develop the best outcome for the students and the school as a whole.