Spotlight On: Clay McLernon

Posted August 25, 2020 in Interviews & Spotlights, Teacher Spotlights By Lachlan Fitzgerald

Mr Clay McLernon is the Director of Football and Head of Year 9. Having represented Perth Football Club and Claremont Football Club in the Western Australian Football League (WAFL) competition, Clay continues to integrate his passion for sport in and out of the classroom.


How do you break-up your day?

I coached footy with Ray Smithers last year, and we used to run around the river to talk about the weekend’s game of footy and our performance. Exercise is pretty essential to my mental health, and whether it’s running, swimming or footy, it’s a time that I can take for myself. There’s a lot of different elements to my job with director of football, Phys ed teaching, and my pastoral role as Head of Year 9. I use exercise as an avenue to refresh the mind, reflect on scenarios and energise myself for the next opportunity to have an impact.


Which famous person in history would you want to spend the day with?

Barack Obama; Leadership is a big part of what I like, and it would be great to hear of the internal challenges and triumphs along his journey as President of the United States. I also admire his ability to be able to manage so many things at once.


What is one lesson you have taken away from sport?

In terms of my WAFL career, my game was built around playing my role for the team. I was never the most talented player in the team, so I had to evolve and adapt to who the team needed me to be so that I could play at the highest level possible for me. That’s why I think sport is so important because of those team-building and life-long skills it forms which can be taken with you post sport into work and family relationships.


Where is your favourite spot to go in WA?

Coral Bay is my favourite spot. It’s just a beautiful bay, and we always go snorkelling and see all kinds of fish, stingrays and the like… We were scheduled to go in the July holidays this year, but COVID-19 forced us to reschedule for next year. One day I’d love to swim with the whale sharks up there.


Tell us about your journey to teaching at Wesley:

I joined Wesley in 2018, but prior to taking up that role I was Head of Sport at Darling Range Sports College and coaching the East Fremantle Colts at the same time. The opportunity to join a great school like Wesley would enable me to combine my two roles of teaching and coaching, which was a perfect fit for myself and my young family.


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