cycle 4 & 5 staff profiles
Please scroll down to read the profiles of all of our wonderful Cycle 4 & 5 Teaching Staff.
Dr gary pears
I was born and education in Queensland attending both a Government Primary School and an Independent Secondary School, The Southport School, on the Gold Coast.
I made my way to Western Australia (WA) in the mid 60’s via the SAS and made it my home.
Following my military service I worked as a Public Relations Consultant in Newman for the BHP Consortium.
Ultimately I returned to Perth to complete my university studies, first at the Nedlands Secondary College at theUniversity of WA and then the Graylands Teachers College.
My first 2 year teaching appointment was in Jigabong Aboriginal Community, some 250 kilometres due east of Newman in the desert of WA.
I returned to Perth and taught for many years in the Department of Education and Training WA Gifted and Talented programs. During that period I completed a Masters Degree by research into the effectiveness of Gifted and Talented programs.
I spent time as the Chair of the Gifted and Talented Association of WA and initiated the WA Knowledge First. I was also the WA Director of the Tournament of Minds.
I completed my PHD with a focus on the effect of differentiated classrooms environments on the cognitive development and achievement outcomes of students in Australian schools.
During my time with the Curtin University Faculty of Education I developed an interest in the benefits of alternate educational philosophies and methods, including Montessori, in managing the differentiated needs of students.
In January 2000 I became the principal of Perth Montessori School and I will celebrate my 13th year with the school during the schools 30 year anniversary.
In addition to my duties as Principal I am also privileged to teach our Cycle 4 and 5 students across a range of areas including:
- S.I.R.P. - Special Interest Research Project for years 9, 10 and 11
- Psychology - WACE units stages 1 through 3
- Philosophy - WACE units stages 1 through 3
Ian michael - deputy principal
I am a fifth generation West Australian, born and raised in the Great Southern region of Western Australia. I was educated in a small country town and Albany Senior High School. After school I spent some time on the family farm before going to Perth to join an aerial surveying company. After several years of working all over Australia and nearby regions I went to work in the UK, initially doing similar work before travelling around Europe for two and a half years. This included teaching English in the north of Spain for a year.
I returned to Perth and completed a Teaching Diploma, followed by a Bachelor’s Degree majoring in Environmental Science. My first appointment was to Embleton Primary School in Bayswater. At this time computers were just starting to appear in high schools and so I completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Science at Mt Lawley College and Curtin University. This was followed by a Masters Degree (Curriculum and Education Technology). After five years at Embleton PS I was invited to join the Education Department ‘s Gifted and Talented Program and operate the Primary Extension and Challenge Centre (PEAC) for the North East region of Perth. I stayed in this role for several years before going on a Teacher Exchange Program to West Yorkshire.
On returning to Perth I spent several years as a School Development Officer, working on the implementation of the Computers in Education Project in primary and secondary schools and the First Steps Literacy Project. I also spent time writing science curriculum materials for the new Science curriculum and technology resources for Lego Australia.
After leaving the Central Office of the Department I spent the next 15 years as principal and deputy principal in small schools and high schools in the city, country and as far afield as Christmas Island. When the opportunity arose to join Perth Montessori School in 2010 I was elated as I felt that working in a Montessori environment would provide me with insights into an innovative and sustained educational philosophy that I could work with to challenge conventional education thinking and bring about an education for a better world for all of our students.
The terms “Beginner’s Mind” and “Handbuilt Curriculum”, I believe, capture the essence of what we strive to do at our Montessori school. My philosophy of teaching is based around developing a passion for continuous learning, and in the words of Henry David Thoreau “ As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind…” I try to foster a sense of wonderment and curiosity in students so that they know how to explore, to find the boundaries, and to understand what is needed to be part of a constantly changing world. Good thinking is critical to how students develop healthy concepts about themselves and others, and I believe that, as teachers we have to provide creative, innovative problem solving opportunities for this to happen. Where ever I have been I like to encourage the Piagetian idea of “to understand is to make” through the use of tools, technologies and materials in an integrated and collaborative way.
Levanah - Director Cycle 3, 4 and 5
- Cycle 3 Director (English and History)
- Cycle 4 Director (English – Reading, History, Geography and Intercultural Studies)
- Cycle 5 Learning Support
- History Leaning Area Coordinator
Personal Background: I was born and raised in Perth. I have lived and taught in the United States and my one of my favourite places to visit is Italy. I have a passion for music, literature, playing the double bass and cooking.
Education and Work Experience: I was educated at Perth College for my primary and secondary schooling and upon graduation, enrolled at Edith Cowan University where I studied a Bachelor of Education. I then moved to the United States, where I taught at East Clayton Elementary School Kindergarten in Atlanta, Georgia for two years. Whilst working there, I completed my Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Studies at the University of Phoenix. I started at Perth Montessori School in 2008 in Cycle 3 and have branched out to the upper cycles since.
Philosophy of Teaching: My philosophy of teaching is supported by Martin Luther King Jr, who states “Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education”. All children deserve an education which is tailored to their individual needs and which can help them to grow to become confident and competent in themselves and in their education. This is supported by Perth Montessori School, where children’s individuality is at the core of our teaching and where practical life skills form the basis for many lessons. The children we teach today are our leaders of tomorrow; therefore, it is important that they receive ample opportunities to prepare themselves for that very task.
Brad - Director Cycle 4 and 5
Personal Background: I was born and raised in Perth Western Australia. I attended Balcatta SHS after receiving a Scholarship to attend their Art program; I try to continue to make artistic and creative endeavour a centre point in my life.
Education and Work Experience: After leaving school I studied at Curtin University receiving in 2000 a Bachelor of Arts (Mass Communication). My main areas of study in this degree were Film, Television and Photography. After university I began work at a large Health Insurance provider in Western Australia. What was meant to be a temporary job became a career, as I worked my way through the corporate ranks during my 5 years there. I was working within a software development team, leading testing cycles, managing teams and acting as a communication focal point between the users and the developers. In this team I found my interests gravitating towards the idea of education.
In 2006 and began studying a Graduate Diploma of Education part time at Edith Cowan University. In 2007 I began working at a Reggio Emilia school while studying and 2008 I continued in the same school as a full time teacher. I wanted to broaden experience as a teacher and in 2009 began working at a number of schools in Western Australia for the Department of Education, including a short stint in Marble Bar School. I then worked for a term at Perth Montessori School in Acacia class, before moving to London to continue working there.
I spent almost two years in the UK working in London schools, all with a myriad of diverse teaching styles and needs. During my time in London I worked with some very experienced teachers and gained a lot of insight into how the needs of different children can be met. I moved back to Perth in the middle of 2011 due to an unexpected bout of fatherhood. I consider myself extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to return to Perth Montessori School, a school that I see as not only matching my pedagogical philosophy but also encouraging and supporting progressive, best-practice teaching.
Philosophy of Teaching: My philosophy on teaching lies on a foundation of the pedagogical ideal of student centred education. Children are inherently interested in the world around them, looking to absorb and evaluate information, sounds, images, ideas and values that see all around them. I see the task of the teacher to facilitate, encourage and support this inherent desire for knowledge, considering the needs of each individual student.
Simon - Director Cycle 4 and 5
Personal Background: Personal Background: I was born into a large family in Perth, the youngest of 5 boys, and spent my formative years growing up in High Wycombe. I am married with a son Oscar who was born in 2011 and enjoy playing games with him whilst watching him grow and learn. My other interests include basketball, gardening, cooking, renovating, strategy games and walking our labrador Sam.
Education and Work Experience: I completed my training as an electrician at Princess Margaret Hospital in 1989 and worked in this area for many years, this included living time living and working in the rural areas of Northam and Wongan Hills. I always enjoyed the challenges of fixing broken equipment, but one of the highlights of this part of my life was training apprentices as I love to be involved in helping others to learn new things. I decided to change career paths into the field of education and completed my Bachelor of Education from Curtin University in 2006. I taught in Perth then spent a few years living and teaching in Albany Western Australia. I was pleased to join the teaching team at Perth Montessori School in 2012.
Philosophy of Teaching: Each student should be valued for their own individual talents. Education should help each person to gain a better understanding of themselves, including their strengths and weaknesses, so that they can embrace difficulties and continue forward with an open mind. The school environment should be interesting so as to stimulate each students desire to learn and help them on their path of lifelong learning.
MICHAEL - DIRECTOR CYCLE 4 AND 5
Personal Background: I was born in Salford, England where I lived for 3 years before moving to Ireland to be raised in a small town called Strabane in the North West. I finished my further education at Strabane Grammar School with A-levels in Chemistry, Biology and English Literature before I went on to study Sports & Exercise Science in Manchester Metropolitan University in 2006. I continue to follow my passions for sports and science in my day to day life in both teaching and in my activities by playing a range of sports. My other great hobby is reading. I also like to play the guitar and listen to music when I’m not throwing myself around a sports field.
Education and Work Experience: After my degree I decided that I wanted to teach Science and went to Edge Hill University to complete a Post Graduate Certificate of Education. I found the whole experience so rewarding and couldn’t get enough of learning and teaching science. I had found my vocation! It wasn’t enough for me to just teach one discipline and I consistently immersed myself in teaching Biology, Chemistry and Physics to as wide a range of students as placements would allow. I completed the course and became a fully qualified teacher in 2010 just as I gained a job in Basingstoke, England. I taught in a community school for just under 2 years before I moved to Ireland to try and save to move to Australia. Working as a relief teacher, it did not take long to attain the money I needed and my partner and I flew to Perth to start the next leg of our careers.
Philosophy of Teaching: I have worked with many very talented teachers in my time in England, and have had the fortune of learning invaluable insights into the world of education and the pedagogy of enquiry based learning. I guess you could say I was naive to think I knew how I wanted to teach when I first started, and in a short time I soon found out that there is no single way to teach, but rather it is a multi dimensional approach which works most effectively. Encouraging independence of students is the most productive and enjoyable way to teach (and for the student to learn!) and is at the heart of my philosophy. It is human nature to want to explore ideas and the world around them first hand, and it is not human nature to be told by someone how that world is to be perceived, therefore it is only right that we do not try and learn in any other manner than by experiencing the ideas and teachings of others first hand. That is to say, that the way we naturally learn is to explore and make the same breakthroughs (and mistakes) others have made in coming to that ‘eureka’ moment we strive for. I enjoy the challenge of creating the journey that is necessary for this to happen and it is seeing the journey through that makes teaching so rewarding.