Spotlight On: Paul Deegan

Posted July 1, 2020 in Interviews & Spotlights, Teacher Spotlights By Lachlan Fitzgerald

Mr Paul Deegan is the Head of Learning Area (Health and Physical Education) at Wesley College. Over his 25-year career with Wesley College students, Paul has inspired some of the modern sporting icons of Australian sport.


What is your favourite teaching memory?

We used to play five-a-side soccer in the gym when I had Buddy Franklin in my Dickson mentor group. Obviously, I have followed his professional career with pride and always told my kids, as they grew up, that Buddy was my ‘best mate’. Years later, I took my family to a Hawthorn game in Melbourne. I was worried that he wouldn’t remember who I was, but when the players came out, he came over and gave me a great big hug and we talked rubbish for a while until training was ready to start. I’ve always believed that the power of teaching is in the relationships that we create and the examples that we set to mould young lives.


Who inspired you to become a teacher?

I always knew that I wanted to work with people, and during high school, I really respected my first Physical Education teacher. He lived near me, and he was a superstar sportsman for my local rugby club. When I was learning to teach, I found my natural teaching style to be the polar opposite to that of my mentor. I took some great lessons away from the experience, but I was exhausted trying to be someone that I wasn’t. When I got my first teaching job, I decided that I would give it a go, but only if I could teach with my own style. Now when people ask what I do, I say that I have the greatest job in the world.


What makes Wesley a great place to work?

I have worked at Wesley since 1995 and, in my opinion, the school is currently in the best position that it has ever been. The leadership is inspiring, and the Physical Education staff that I work with are amazing. The students that Wesley produces will (and already have) gone on to change the world. I have never been prouder to say that I work at Wesley College.


Who is your favourite sporting role model?

My favourite role model is Adam Goodes. When he was playing, he demonstrated so many admirable qualities throughout his career; both on and off the field. His sense of pride in his heritage and the resilience that he showed in the face of such adversity is absolutely remarkable.

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