HORSHAM College will continue to champion the ground-breaking Teach for Australia program in 2015.
It will start the school year with the second-highest number of teachers from the program in Australia.
Wimmera schools have been reaping the benefits of Teach for Australia – described as an ambitious social movement working to confront educational disadvantage in Australia – since 2010.
The program aims to fast-track high-calibre, non-teaching graduates into disadvantaged schools through an intensive training program that leads to a post-graduate teaching qualification.
Twenty-nine associates have taught at Horsham, Ararat, Dimboola, Murtoa, Stawell and Warracknabeal in the areas of maths, physics, chemistry, biology, science, English, humanities, business, accounting, media studies, visual arts, drama, health, TESOL, German and Spanish.
Four associates will start at Horsham College today, with an additional four associates placed throughout the Wimmera.
Horsham College’s latest recruits include former lawyer and award-winning playwright Chris Summers.
Mr Summers, who has moved to the region from Sydney, said he was enticed by the school’s vision for drama.
‘‘I didn’t put down regional Victoria as my first preference but when they called me and offered me Horsham, principal Rob Pyers gave me an amazing spiel about how he saw the future of drama in the school,’’ he said.
‘‘He pitched it so well to me that I didn’t get long to think about it.’’
Mr Summers is a graduate of the National Institute of Dramatic Arts. Last year, his play King Arthur won the Patrick White Playwrights’ Award.
Also from Sydney, Kate Alliott has a degree from the University of Sydney, majoring in international relations and languages.
‘‘The moment they described the whole set-up here I was sold instantly – I said yes without having ever been to this part of the world,’’ she said.
Former Australian Securities and Investments Commission and Australian Competition and Consumer Commission employee Duane Collinson said the program gave him the chance to make a career switch after 13 years working for the federal government.
‘‘My preference was to come to regional Victoria and when I found out I was coming to Horsham I was stoked,’’ he said.
In a coincidence, Jack Talbot’s first teaching job will be at the school his mother attended.
Mr Talbot said he had asked for a job in the Wimmera.
‘‘I wanted to be part of a community that was more than just the school, a community that was quite involved with the school and be able to be a visible presence to students in their own town.’’
Mr Talbot is the drummer in Melbourne band Lowlakes.
Murtoa College will welcome Charlotte Glick, who will teach English and SOSE.
Stawell Secondary College has landed two associates: Jesse Poulton, physics and maths, and Romana Dalgleish, English and SOSE.
Jessie Ravenscroft will also teach English and SOSE at Ararat College.
Teach for Australia founder and executive officer Melodie Potts Rosevear said the program was privileged to successfully partner with numerous schools, organisations and communities in the Wimmera.
"Together, we have achieved much, but it is only the beginning," she said.
"We look forward to deepening existing partnerships as well as developing new ones in order to support the region's ambition for an excellent education for all children."
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