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Pelican : November 2009
14 James Keeley Age: 25 Student at St Edmund's: From 1993 to 2001 Teacher at St Edmund's since: 2008 Earliest memories at school: Good friendships, supportive teachers and lots of co-curricular activities. Why St Edmund's?: St Eddie's was close to home (and still is) and close to St Clare's (!). And James' father wanted his sons to go to an all- boys Catholic school so they would have the same experience as he did, growing up at St Gregory's in Campbelltown. Fondest memories: A highlight for James was his trip to the UK in Year 12 with the rugby squad -- it was a fantastic way to finish nine years of Eddie's schooling, being overseas with his best mates. James also appreciated the great relationships with teachers such as Year 11 Co-ordinator, Tony O'Shea. James was able to take those friendships into adulthood and it's part of why he's teaching at St Eddie's. Even now, when he runs into ex-St Eddie's teachers around Canberra from time to time, they remember him and are interested in his progress. Why choose teaching?: James hadn't really decided on a career when he left school and went to the University of Canberra. However, he realised teaching would give him and his partner the opportunity to travel and work overseas together. He did his Dip Ed at the Australian Catholic University, then successfully applied to work in one of the biggest girls' schools in London in 2007. Surrounded by 2,000 girls, and never even meeting the Principal of the school, the culture couldn't have been more different from St Eddie's. Challenges and highlights: The job offer to become a science teacher at St Eddie's arrived in the form of an SMS message as James was cycling around Switzerland on a Contiki tour. Teaching has shown him the importance of setting boundaries and applying discipline as well as having good relationships with the students. The lack of co-curricular activities at the London school has given him a new appreciation of co- curricular activities (for both students and teachers) and he enjoys being the Rugby Co-ordinator. He has also noticed an increased emphasis on academia at St Eddie's, which he thinks is a good thing. Josh Vaughan Age: 34 Student at St Edmund's: From 1985 to 1993 Teacher at St Edmund's since: 2001 Earliest memory at school: In Year 4, when Brother Wallace, the charismatic, larger-than-life headmaster, welcomed Josh and all the other Year 4 boys to the school, telling them how lucky they were to be the first year to attend the brand new chapel -- the heart of the school -- all the way through to Year 12. Why St Edmund's?: Josh had two big brothers there who loved it and had formed great friendships. And he'd always wanted to look all grown up in the smart school uniform. Fondest memories: Although not an academic high flyer, Josh excelled at rugby and was very excited that his first-ever overseas trip was with 20 of his best friends -- touring New Zealand with the First's Rugby Squad in Year 12. Why choose teaching?: Positive and supportive teachers inspired Josh to think about teaching as a career. He went to the Australian Catholic University and did his first practical year at St Eddie's, which helped him win his first teaching job there. And he's been there ever since -- first as a primary school teacher, then as Co-ordinator for Years 9 and 10 (a challenge for even a seasoned teacher). Now Director of Operations, he deals with staff on things like student excursions, timetabling, professional development and mentoring. He still has a great relationship with some of his ex-teachers, although on a more collegial basis now. Challenges and highlights: Josh says he has learnt on his feet, built relationships with students and parents, and made tough but -- he hopes -- fair decisions, aware of his potential to have a real impact on people's lives. He's proud to have been an Eddie's boy and is starting to get involved with the Old Boys' network. He's also still great friends with many ex-students and feels that making life-long friendships is one of the key benefits of going to St Eddie's. Jeneen McLeod Josh helping senior students with resources. James teaching his Year 11 General Science class. From student to teacher