One of the great strengths of Wesley College is the outstanding quality of its educators. There isn’t space to highlight the creativity and commitment of each person, but we invite you to enjoy this selection of profiles that shows the wide range of people we have here.

Ms Jannine Webb, Dean of Students (Senior School)

Ms Jannine Webb joined Wesley in January 2017 as Dean of Students (Senior School), a role which sees her guide students in Years 9 to 12. Jannine is passionate about helping students realise their full potential and is looking forward to working with Wesley’s young men to effect generational change that has positive outcomes for both men and women.

 

Why did you choose to join Wesley?
I chose to come to Wesley and work with young men to make a positive difference in their lives. I have always been interested in helping students realise their potential while they are still at school, rather than waiting until they have graduated. I believe that young men have such creative imaginations and ideas that can provide the solutions to many global issues. Engaging and empowering them is essential to finding alternate methods to meeting current and future needs.

What inspired you to become a teacher?
I was inspired by my Year 5-7 teacher. I grew up in Newdegate which has a very small primary school, and I had three different teachers from Years 1-7. My Year 5-7 teacher was very engaging and encouraging, which made a big difference in my learning.

Tell us about your career highlights, prior to joining Wesley.
Prior to joining Wesley, I was the Dean of Middle Years’ Education at the Methodist Ladies College (MLC) in Perth. Leading students and teachers in this role was the realisation of a long-held goal. I really enjoyed having the opportunity to influence change for a large number of students through implementing challenging learning initiatives and strategies that supported students requiring additional resources to reach their potential. Starting programs that raised student interest in fields such as engineering or mining-related industries and increasing the academic rigour of the courses we offered was also very important for me.

I have already found that I am able to apply learnings from MLC to my role here at Wesley, through leading students and analysing data to improve student outcomes.

Outside of school life, what are your favourite things to do?
When I am at home I am a mum first and foremost and I love spending time with my boys, family and friends outside of school life. I also enjoy cooking, reading and gardening as a way to unwind from a busy day or term!

Mr Alex Boyd, Woodwind & Wind Ensemble Coordinator

Alex Boyd is the Woodwind & Wind Ensemble Coordinator at the College and commenced work at Wesley in 1996. Alex has taught clarinet and saxophone to students over his journey and has conducted and directed both Junior and Senior Jazz and Concert Bands over the last 22 years. He has also been a member of several musical groups including the WA Symphony Orchestra and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.

 

What inspired you to become a teacher?
After receiving a music scholarship at Churchlands, I left school in 1987. To make some money whilst studying at university, I began teaching a couple of clarinet students privately. It was a great way to stay connected with the music industry, as I was still aiming to become a professional musician at the time. So the inspiration, I suppose, was to stay connected with music and to enjoy what teaching music offers.

What made you choose to join Wesley College?
At the time I was offered the job at Wesley, I was working part-time, so it was a great opportunity to have a full-time position as an instrumental tutor. Not every school, even now, offers that. Wesley had a high appeal to me as the College had a really vibrant music program which was headed up by Jeff Lowe, with a number of bands and ensembles. The stories I heard about Wesley being a great place to teach, with great students, also enticed me. The opportunity also seemed the logical progression of my career at the time.

During your 22 years at Wesley, what changes have you seen in the College and the students?
The campus has had some dramatic changes with the Middle School campus being introduced during my time, which has included the new Middle School and transition buildings. The technology within the school has been another change with each Senior School boy now in possession of their own device. When I first arrived, there were a couple of computers but they did not have the capabilities that the computers do today and there was no internet connection. In terms of the boys, I have noticed an increase in maturity over time, with the boys becoming more mature at an earlier age. The sense of commitment has been one of the constants over time at the College and I see this every day in the boys’ efforts and attitudes towards Music.

Outside of College life, what are your favourite things to do? 
Outside of Wesley, I focus on my professional playing career as I believe it’s important to maintain a career that involves regular performing. I do this through the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and local bands as well. Outside of music, I enjoy watching my two teenage daughters play sport and perform their music. As a family we also spend lots of time in the Coral Bay/Exmouth area and Margaret River region camping, so we get the most out of the Western Australian lifestyle.

Mrs Suzanne Lawrence, Speech and Drama specialist

Mrs Suzanne Lawrence has been an iconic part of Wesley life or 26 years, teaching students in the Middle School before becoming our Speech and Drama specialist.

 

What inspired you to become a teacher?
I have absolutely no idea, but I have always known that I wanted to be one. From the age of three, that probably formulated as a definite pathway in my mind. I can remember my little sister bringing her friends around to our house, and we would sit around the table. They couldn’t understand nouns and verbs and other parts of speech, and I would sit there and help them with that. I’ve done it forever.

Why do you teach?
I get very emotional when I talk about it. I have been given something that is really special and I am able to do something that is so meaningful. My son always says that I am one of the lucky people. Most people go to work as a means to an end to create a way to bring money home to the family, and that’s it; whereas I get to do something I love every day.

What made you choose to join Wesley?
I chose to join Wesley because my husband at the time was an ex- Wesley boy and that’s all he wanted for our son – for him to go to Wesley. There were 104 applicants for the position but I knew if I could just get an interview, I stood half a chance. I have tried to instil in the boys over the years the importance of making sure an application is perfect; grammatically and structurally. I was so excited when I was hired and we moved from Mandurah up to Perth.

Outside of school, what are your favourite things?
My children are the most important part of my life. They are both amazing young people and I am very proud of who they are. My son has a double degree in Law and Psychology and a Masters, with First Class Honours, in Advanced Computer Science. My daughter, after being on television reality shows such as “Australia’s Next Top Model” and “Project Runway”, now lives in Los Angeles, has her own business and is currently doing stand-up comedy! Plus, I love the Eagles. My sisters want me to go back and live my final years in New Zealand, but I can’t – I can’t leave the Eagles!

Mr Warren O’Neill, Woodwork Teacher

Mr Warren O’Neill is the Woodwork Teacher in the Design & Technology Department at Wesley. He has been at the College for 18 years.

 

What inspired you to become a teacher?
I was encouraged to follow a career in Design and Technology teaching when I was at high school and quite enjoyed Woodwork and Metalwork classes. I was inspired by the way my high school teachers taught these practical classes as they were fun and encouraging environments. Initially, the thought of taking a class of 30 students was quite daunting, but my passion for the subject area made teaching it quite easy in the end.

What made you choose to join Wesley?
While I was teaching at another school, one of the staff noticed an advertisement for a D&T teacher at Wesley College and I thought that would be a great opportunity to teach in a prestigious private school. I still remember the day I arrived for the interview and was blown away by the feel of the College when walking around its wonderful grounds and historic buildings. I have never regretted this decision and hope for many more rewarding years ahead of me.

Outside of the school, what are your favourite things to do?
While I enjoy playing tennis, my passion is with water skiing. I used to perform with the WA Water Ski Division doing various acts on the water like pyramids and doubles lift acts, roulettes and skiing around the front of the boat. I have currently moved towards tournament water skiing, where people compete in three events: Slalom, Trick and Jump.

This has inspired me to give something back to the sport I have loved for so long. Now I take a handful of Wesley boys through the slalom course most Friday mornings in summer to hopefully compete in the occasional tournament.

During your years at Wesley, what changes have you seen in the school and in the students?
Well, so much has changed in my time here. Wesley is such a dynamic place to work with so many things constantly changing. The College’s commitment to a massive building schedule is awe-inspiring. Our students are so lucky to have access to these facilities. Technology is another game-changer with every Senior School student now with a laptop, instead of having to book a computer lab to do folio work. This has given me much better flexibility in my classes.