Aspiring educators go bush in new pilot program

A civil engineer, pharmacy assistant and career musician will take up teaching roles in regional and remote South Australia under a pilot program that recruits and trains subject specialists to teach in country schools.

The Marshall Liberal Government has partnered with Teach for Australia (TFA) to deliver a pilot of the TFA Leadership Development Program, which recruits talented graduates, young professionals and career changers – with the goal of developing them into highly effective teachers and leaders.

The first three ‘Associates’ to take part in the inaugural pilot all have Bachelor degrees in hard-to-fill subject areas and will commence employment in a regional or remote school while undertaking their Masters in Teaching (Secondary), receiving formal mentorship over two years.

The trio has already completed the initial component of the Masters in Teaching in preparation for the classroom and will start in term 1 this year.

Roxby Downs Area School will get two STEM teachers in Rebecca Magee and Joshua Biermann. Rebecca has a Bachelor of Biomedical Science, is a tutor, and worked previously as a pharmacy assistant. Joshua has a Bachelor of Engineering and worked as a civil engineer.

David Drummond, who is a career musician and music teacher with a Bachelor of Music, will teach music subjects at Stuart High School in Whyalla.

Minister for Education John Gardner said the pilot is designed to support the recruitment and retention of subject specialists to teaching roles in regional, rural and remote schools.

“There is a specific focus on harder-to-staff subjects like Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and Music,” Minister Gardner said.

“Associates with these skills are needed and we’re thrilled to support this pilot to help regional and remote schools attract specialist teachers.

“TFA has been used effectively in other states and I’m excited to see how it performs in South Australia to meet some of the recruitment challenges in regional locations.

“Congratulations to David, Rebecca and Joshua. I know the communities in Whyalla and Roxby Downs will welcome you with open arms.”

A second cohort of Associates will be recruited and commence work in 2022 as part of the pilot program.

Teach for Australia Associate biographies:

David Drummond – Stuart High School

  • Teaching Area: David will be teaching Music subjects.
  • Tertiary Education: Bachelor of Music.
  • Career so far: Musician, including as a private and commercial music teacher, and a band manager.
  • Relocating from: Adelaide.

Rebecca Magee – Roxby Downs Area School

  • Teaching Area: Rebecca will be teaching STEM subjects.
  • Tertiary Education: Bachelor of Biomedical Science.
  • Career so far: Pharmacist assistant, tutor, and roles in administration.
  • Relocating from: Melbourne.

Joshua Biermann – Roxby Downs Area School

  • Teaching Area: Joshua will be teaching STEM subjects.
  • Tertiary Education: Bachelor of Engineering.
  • Career so far: Civil engineering, in Australia and Vietnam.
  • Relocating from: Brisbane.

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