Spotlight On: Mr Nathan Jessup

Posted April 29, 2024 in Interviews & Spotlights, Teacher Spotlights By Sophie Foster

With Head of College, Mr Ross Barron, spending his one-term sabbatical meeting industry leaders and Old Collegians around the world, Deputy Head, Mr Nathan Jessup, has taken the helm. But what makes Mr Jessup tick? Let’s find out!


What do you love about Wesley?

It’s the warmth of the place – the people, students, parents, staff. I enjoy coming to work every day because I know I’m walking into somewhere really welcoming and fun. There’s a lighthearted spirit to the College.

Are you from Perth?

Yes! I grew up in the northern suburbs and went to a Uniting Church school, St. Stephen’s. I had a seven-year professional hiatus in Victoria then returned to Perth and live back in the northern suburbs.

 What do you do with your time off?

Lots of things. I’ve got three young kids, which is time-consuming in all the right ways. I’m quite a playful person by nature, so to be able to play with them is great. I also love the ocean, so I try and do an open water swim for 20-30 minutes every day or go for a surf.

You’re quite sporty by nature, aren’t you?

I’ve had a reasonable sporting background. I umpired AFL football, took up marathon running and then fell in love with triathlon. I always wanted to go to the world championships in Hawaii, so I did that. But now I don’t keep active to compete. I keep active because I enjoy challenging myself and clearing my mind through physical pursuits.

Do you have any time for books?

I used to read an unbelievable number of books. Time is more limited now, but reading is something I genuinely enjoy. I tend to focus on non-fiction titles. I’ve got a very curious, inquisitive mind, so I enjoy a broad range of reading about what’s going on in the world and what’s going on with people in the world.

Have you got a favourite title?

In terms of non-fiction, I’d recommend a book called Redeemable: A Memoir of Darkness and Hope by Erwin James. It’s about a man who had a very troubled upbringing and spent an extended period of time in jail. However, after his release, he was able to get his life on track in quite an extraordinary way. From a fiction perspective, I love Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. It’s just clever, clever writing by someone who was a genius in terms of his literary gift.

You’ve been at Wesley for 13 years, in two separate stints. Has there been a highlight?

Absolutely. I was given an unbelievable opportunity to start up the Katitjin program. Within that, I was looking for a camping experience that wouldn’t be too dependent on climate when I stumbled on Morapoi Station. For me, it’s really special that 15, 16 years down the track it’s still a signature experience for every Katitjin student.

Were you nervous about stepping into the Head of College role for a term?

To be honest, I wasn’t nervous. I think part of that is a testament to Ross and working alongside him so closely for several years. I felt like I knew what to expect. Plus, although tricky things will always come up, I’ve got absolute confidence in the people I work with. We’ve got amazing staff who are outstanding at working through things in a calm and considered manner.

 Have you had to stop teaching while you’re in the big seat?

One of the things that brings me the most joy is stepping into a classroom or being in front of a group of students, so one of the discussions I had with Mr Barron was about how I could do this role without stepping away from my Mentor Group.

And how have you found the role so far?

One thing I knew already, which has only been reinforced by taking on this role, is that Wesley is in a really good position at the moment. It’s a very special place to be.

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