In 2015, Albany Senior High School gained its Independent Public School status. This very important milestone allows for greater autonomy for the inaugural School Board, school administration and the Albany community. Together, we are guiding the future direction of Albany Senior High School. The newly acquired independent decision is allowing the Albany Senior High School to adapt to the unique demands of ASHS and the Albany Community.
School Board Members
Dan Northcott, Parent Representative - Chairperson
Joined School Board – April 2017
I have been a member of the Albany Senior High School Board since 2017 and am privileged to have been elected Board Chair in 2019.
My working career has spanned 26 years in the Golf Industry owning and operating various retail and wholesale businesses in Perth.
Originally born and educated in Albany led to a decision in 2013 to relocate back to Albany for lifestyle reasons and take on a role at the Albany Golf Club where I am currently the General Manager. Being part of the Golf Club has provided me with a passion for community engagement and the historical and cultural attributes that both the Golf Club and School share within our community is of great interest to me.
As a parent of two girls attending ASHS I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute back to the school and community through my involvement on the School Board. Working strategically with the School Board to ensure good governance and achieving outcomes that will be beneficial for not only my children but future generations.
As your School Board Chair, I welcome any feedback the school community may have and look forward to representing the school in the future.
Michael Roberts, Community Representative
Since Albany Senior High School achieved Independent Public School status in 2015, I have been privileged to serve the ASHS community as a founding School Board member, Vice Chairman and member of the facilities committee.
Since the inception of the Board, I have seen the members’ functions and responsibilities mature to form a cohesive and important governance role for the staff and administration of ASHS.
As an Architect based in Albany since 1994, I have been involved with various committees, boards and community forums and was a founding board member of Great Southern Grammar School. Throughout these involvements, I have gained an understanding of the importance of developing strong partnerships with key stakeholders in Albany as well as State and Federal Government agencies. It is these partnerships which bring important community backing and support to ensure the students and staff all benefit from a professionally run and well regarded Senior High School with the very best of available resources.
As a parent of a current year 10 student and a former year 12 student at ASHS, I am passionate about maintaining the excellent standing ASHS holds in the City of Albany.
My background as an Architect, small business operator, family member and parent with a strong capacity for analysis and communication brings to the board an ability to understand the complexities of delivering effective governance for ASHS as an Independent Public School.
I look forward to hearing from Students, Staff and Parents on any matter they would like to bring to the Board’s attention.
Mark Weller, Community Representative
I am proud to live and work in the Albany community, having been here since 2002. In previous work roles, I was involved in upgrades to local sporting and recreational infrastructure including the Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre redevelopment, Hockey Turf, Sandford Road Skatepark and Albany Downhill Mountain Bike track. I’ve also served on many local community committees.
I now run a consulting business with a team of six personnel, delivering infrastructure and other project development and management services throughout the Great Southern region, Western Australia and Australia.
ASHS is a terrific school with a proud history. Our daughter attends the school and our son will go to ASHS once finishing primary school.
As current ASHS facilities age, there are plans for the renewal of existing infrastructure and development of new facilities. I am looking forward to assisting the board and school to gain funding for key projects; as well as contributing in other areas.
I believe in the value of education and am committed to continuous learning. Current qualifications include a Master of Business Administration; Bachelor of Social Sciences (Leisure Sciences and Eco-Tourism); Agile DSDM Project Management; and Cert IV in Training and Assessment.
Anne Sparrow, Parent Representative
As a VET learner myself, I have come to recognise the necessity to provide a wide-ranging suite of educational opportunities, along with the capacity to deliver them while allowing for the different learning styles of students. I feel strongly about acknowledging the equal importance of both the ATAR and General Pathway streams of learning in today’s generation.
I would love to see ASHS build more relationships with other training organisations and educational institutions to further enhance learning and career opportunities for ASHS students.
I am a Mother of two daughters who has previous experience as a board member in a rural senior high school. It’s from that rural perspective that I look for opportunities to improve and make those transitions easier for our rural students.
My own learning journey found me finishing my TAE to go on to Art studies but then followed a career in the rural and hospitality sectors. Upon discovering I have a hidden ability to write, organise things and “make stuff happen”, I went back to learning to achieve Cert IV’s in Training and Assessment, Business, and Leadership and Management as well as a Diploma in Project Management. I look forward to taking the Business qualification through to Degree in 2018.
I have spent the last 10 years working in the community not-for-profit sector, and I feel I bring to the Board out of the square approaches to problem-solving.
Geoff Dickson, Parent Representative
I was born and raised in Albany and have a strong affinity with Albany Senior High School. I am a previous student at the school and have returned to Albany recently with my family because of work commitments. I am keen to reconnect with the school community and give back to the wonderful learning environment that shaped my formative years, especially with my youngest child now at the school in Year 11.
Since leaving school, I have immersed myself in lifelong learning. I have returned to university a number of times throughout the last 15 years, now holding a Masters degree and two postgraduate certificates that give me a strong insight into academia, strengthened through strong workforce application of learning.
In moving throughout regional WA, my family and I have experienced regional schooling in a number of government-based schools. Having four children has allowed me to become familiar with the educational system, how some kids thrive whilst others, struggle. With that in mind, my interest in the governance of schools led me to be a school council member at Toodyay District High School and more recently, I was the chairperson of the school council at Northam Senior High School.
I look forward to being part of the Board and bringing a breadth of experience to help shape the future of this wonderful school. Student behaviour is of particular interest to me, how a school adapts to an ever-changing society and creates a place of safety and learning for all students.
Wayne Austin, Staff Representative
I am newly appointed to Albany Senior High School in 2019 and would like the opportunity to engage with the community and parent Board members to represent the school community.
I have experience in Board membership, having been a founding member of the Denmark Senior High School Board, and in fact, was the lead person in the transition of Denmark Senior High School to Independent Public School status. I spent four years as a board member on the Denmark SHS School Board.
As a Deputy Principal at Albany Senior High School, I believe that I will have a wide understanding of the issues that teachers face, as I interact with staff at all levels and across all learning areas. I have a strategic role in the development of new initiatives, for example, the new Curriculum Policy implementation and development of a new timetable structure that will impact on the school community in 2020. I have a strong understanding of policy and procedure and believe I can help guide the School Board in decision making that is in the best interest of the staff and school.
I have always had a community-minded focus. In the past, I have been a member of various community bodies, for example, Roadwise as a school representative and worked as a volunteer in Emergency Services. I was a founding instructor in the Emergency Services cadet unit at Denmark Senior High School. I believe that a strong community connection is vital to the work schools do.
I would like the opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the school and community and the being a School Board member would give me this opportunity.
Robert Quinn, Staff Representative
I have been teaching for over 16 years across the state from Australind to Harvey, out to Kalgoorlie then back into Mandurah, up to Karratha and finally back home to Albany. Through my experiences, I have gained a unique perspective of government school education in WA. I have been involved in the teaching, support of students and administration in almost every type of schooling format on offer and I know the challenges faced by us as a school but I also know what makes ASHS a fantastic place for students to be.
I am a graduate and ex-prefect of Albany Senior High School, and as such it has a special significance to me and being part of the School Board is a natural progression of being involved in the direction of the school. I am hoping that I can be a conduit of not only the staff but also anyone in the extended school community that wants a part of making ASHS a better place while at the same keeping our traditions alive.
Currently, I can be found in the Physical Education office, Maths classroom and even taking a Digital Technologies class. I also find time to coach the Country Week Girls Basketball team and help out with other activities going on in the PE area.
Emma Pedretti, Staff Representative
I grew up in the Wheatbelt and attended school myself in country schools (Wagin DHS and Narrogin SHS; where I attended the Hostel for Years 11 and 12) and so I have an affinity for country schools. Part of country schooling experience was moving to Perth at 17 to study. After gaining my Bachelor of Arts in English and then Graduate Diploma in secondary teaching, I moved back to my home town to begin my teaching career (in 1999). Ever since then, I have continued to teach in country schools; including in Kalgoorlie, Esperance and now here in Albany.
I am a passionate advocate for state education and am proud to have my own children being taught by the teachers here at ASHS.
Teachers at ASHS would already know that I have had a special interest in the needs of our students with disabilities and in delivering literacy interventions for students at risk. However, I have had a varied career spanning other aspects of secondary schooling; including teaching extension classes, Literature and ATAR English, engaging in curriculum development at a regional level, and enjoying a four-year stint as an Agriculture teacher in Esperance.
I am interested in student outcomes above all else and believe that the best way of ensuring our students are catered for adequately both in their well-being and in their academic success, is through supporting their classroom teachers. I would like to bring this lens to the School Board and work collaboratively with all of our stakeholders to maintain the focus on the classroom and the relationships between teachers and their students as that is the foundation for the entire school’s success.
I also hope to have the opportunity to contribute innovative ideas and be a positive support to the existing members of the Board in their governing roles.
Jenny Firth, Principal
Education has always been my passion as it provides the keys to opportunity and personal fulfilment for everyone. Having come from a migrant working-class background, education has been the catalyst for my own work and life journey, that has led me to my dream job here as Principal of Albany Senior High School.
My university studies have included a double degree in Mathematics, postgraduate studies in education, science education and education management at a Masters level. I have also been fortunate to have been awarded a leadership award by the Professional Association for Principals in WA in 2014 and selected for Leading Australian Schools Program conducted through University of Melbourne Business School.
My professional career has taken me all around WA in working in schools and providing professional support for teachers and school leader. Having taken on the role as a school support officer and as an active member of professional associations, I provided professional mentoring and support. I have always explored innovative ways to address issues in schools. As a maths teacher, this was by promoting student engagement including real-life problem solving and activity-based learning. This professional practice was shared through publications on behalf of the professional association and as an independent author.
In my role as a Principal since 2006, I have explored ways to work for the enhancement of education both in my own school but in collaboration with local primary and high schools. Being the Principal of a school in the second intake of Independent Public Schools has enabled me to explore the opportunities and develop my own skills in evidence-based decision making as an autonomous school leader.
Albany Senior High School is positioned to undergo generational change, with many staff members planning to retire over the next five years, respecting the traditions of the school, while planning for innovation to engage learners to fully develop their potential, provides a significant challenge. The profile of our student and staff population is changing and provides an ideal opportunity for innovation, as we head into the next century of the school’s journey.