Teacher Profile | Louise Leighton
Prep–Year 6 Drama Teacher, St Paul’s Parents Matter Coordinator and FOSTA Coordinator
Warragul Junior School
“I love hearing the successes of past students. I become very proud of the students I teach.”
Louise began teaching Physical Education (PE) at the Warragul Junior School in 2004. She has held many positions such as classroom teacher, Dance and now Prep – 2 Librarian and Prep – 6 Drama teacher. Louise has also developed the role over the past years of the St Paul’s Parents Matter Coordinator in which she liaises with new parents to ensure that they are settling into the school community. She runs the Parents Matter closed Facebook group which assists parents with information and a forum for them to ask questions of anything they are unsure of. Louise is also the FOSTA Coordinator (Friends of St Paul’s Together Achieve) where she oversees fundraising events, mothers and fathers day stalls and special lunch days for the students.
We asked Louise a few questions about her teaching…
What was your background before working at St Paul’s?
“After completing my degree I travelled for four years, completing a summer camp in the U.S.A. and teaching in London. In 2001 I spent seven months in Japan learning to white water raft and was enriched with the Japanese culture and language.”
What do you like most about St Paul’s?
“Every student is catered for and most students in the Junior School know each other. Students blossom when they arrive here and the staff are looked after and cared for.”
What do you think is different about St Paul’s from other schools?
“The pastoral care of every child at St Paul’s is very important and highly regarded. I also think that the respect that students show towards each other and their teachers is a stand out. I feel we have great leadership. Without great leaders we are just a ship floating with the crew unsure of their route.”
And finally, what do you enjoy most about being a teacher?
“The student’s development and achievement’s big or small – it fills my heart. It might be learning to finger knit, ride a bike on camp, shoot a basketball goal or learning their times tables. It seems to give me more enthusiasm to assist them to thrive and be the best version of them possible. I love hearing the successes of past students. I become very proud of the students I teach.”
Teaching at a previous school, Louise found that PE was not enjoyed by all students, in particular some girls. She developed an elective there called Mind, Body and Soul which was a culmination of different alternative activities that can still create better health outcomes not just through mainstream sports.
Louise’s peers say that nothing is ever too much trouble for Lou and that she approaches everything with incredible enthusiasm and passion. “She is a master at juggling ‘many different hats’ within the Junior School and it is her passion with working with young people and our school community that sees her as a valued member of staff. She ensures that every student and family feels welcomed when they begin at St Paul’s by assisting them in settling in and supporting them in any way she can. Louise leads the parents’ groups with enthusiasm, ensuring everyone feels connected to our School and her warm and friendly approach shines through in every interaction with students, staff and families alike.”
Outside of work Louise enjoys cycling, camping with her family, road trips and generally being with her family and friends.