Introducting our new staff members

Staff Name: Siena Bempasciuto
Position: Receptionist

I am the new receptionist at Applecross SHS. I was previously working as a legal assistant for the past 4 and a half years. I enjoyed my time at the law firm but am looking forward to a change of scenery and working in a new environment. Working in a school has been something I’ve always wanted to pursue and Applecross SHS is the perfect school for me to start my journey.

I’m looking forward to meeting all of the staff, parents and students. I’m feeling motivated to achieve some of my work-related goals this year and hopefully make a positive impact on the school by being an approachable and friendly face when people walk into the office.

Staff Name: Eric Brukwinski
Position: Science Teacher

I am a new Science Teacher for Years 9, 10 and 11 in 2024. I am looking forward to working at Applecross SHS. I am married to my beautiful wife, Shannon, and we have a West Highland Terrier named Rosie. I enjoy staying fit by walking daily and going to the gym. My real passion is golf, and I play weekly. I have been a volunteer at the Shenton Park Dog Home for the past 17 years and enjoy walking and interacting with the dogs.

After 30 years as a practising Chiropractor, I decided on a career change to become a Secondary Science Teacher. This brings with it a life experience I want to share with my students. I have previously lectured at Murdoch University in the School of Chiropractic and had extensive experience working and teaching rehabilitation and human movement seminars.

Staff Name: Tracy Clifford
Position: Home Economics Teacher

My name is Tracy Clifford, and I am excited to be returning to Applecross Senior High School in my role as a Home-Economics Food and Textiles teacher. I had the privilege of getting to know some of the students in Semester 1 last year when I filled in for a teacher on leave, and I am looking forward to meeting all the new faces in my classes this year. 

When taking time out, you will often see me down at the local pools swimming or sitting poolside, watching my three children playing water polo or participating in the many open water swim events around WA. I’m about to do my 4th Rottnest Channel Swim crossing as part of a team.

After several years of break from teaching to raise a young family, I returned to teaching three years ago as a Home Economics teacher at Safety Bay High and have also taught at Applecross and Como Senior Secondary.

My aim as a Technologies teacher is to instil in my students a passion for creating excellent design solutions through the acquisition of sound technical skills and to enjoy their learning experiences in 2024.

Staff Name: Clyde Goodenough
Position: English Teacher

I’m Clyde Goodenough, and it’s with great enthusiasm that I re-join Applecross SHS as an English teacher for the 2024 academic year. It’s a joy to return to such a vibrant educational community after a period of broadening my professional horizons.

Professionally, I am an Instructional Coach for the Curtin Educational Network and held the position of 2IC of English at Como Secondary College in 2022 and 2023. I was also the CREATE English Coordinator (Creative Academic Extension program). As the Literature Coordinator for Como, I’m particularly proud of improving Como’s ATAR Literature results considerably, positioning us in the top 15 schools in the state for that subject in the WACE results for 2023.

Staff Name: Teale Gordon
Position: Science and Human Biology Teacher

A little bit about myself: I am married and have a two-year-old daughter. I enjoy travelling, reading, swimming and playing water polo.

After working in Health Promotion, I completed the Teach for Australia program to become a teacher in 2018. Since then, I have taught and worked in Student Services at both Southern River College and
Harrisdale SHS. I am excited to bring my passion for teaching and learning to what I consider to be one of the best schools in the state. I look forward to making a positive contribution to the Science department and Applecross SHS in 2024.

Staff Name: Seve Grantis
Position: Health and Physical Education Teacher

I am a Health and Physical Education Teacher. I am very grateful to be joining Applecross SHS and look forward to the year ahead!

I graduated from Murdoch University in 2015 and started my first teaching position at Esperance SHS. I then moved to Busselton Senior High School in 2017, where I taught Health and Physical Education for the past seven years.

I am super excited to get started at Applecross SHS and meet staff, students and parents over the coming weeks. I am an extremely passionate teacher and am eager to make a positive impact within the school community and continue Applecross SHS’s history in supporting students to achieve excellence.

Staff Name: Janelle Lagrange
Position: Science Teacher

I am a new teacher of Science in 2024. I am very happy to be working at Applecross SHS this year.

During my teaching career, I have had the opportunity to work in both regional and metropolitan schools; most recently, I have worked at Toodyay DHS and Harrisdale SHS. I coordinated the Bush Rangers cadet unit at Harrisdale SHS, working with a small group of students to revegetate farmland in the southwest by planting 10,000 trees over a three-year period.

Staff Name: Ngaire Lowry
Position: Science Teacher

My name is Ngaire Lowry (said Nigh-ah-ree, like a diary), and I am one of the new Science teachers for 2024. My areas are Biology and Human Biology.

Prior to teaching, I was a biomedical scientist for 17 years in both research and diagnostic testing. I spent four years at the Department of Agriculture and Food in Animal Health, primarily in Immunology, and also in Microbiology, Serology and Virology. Then, I moved to the medical industry as a Medical Scientist in Biochemistry and Endocrinology for the next thirteen years.

In 2018 I completed my Dip Ed and in 2019 I started as a Relief Teacher. I joined Harrisdale SHS full-time at the end of 2021, and now I’m excited to be joining Applecross SHS. I look forward to sharing my passion and love of learning all things science with my students.

Staff Name: Andrew Mattin
Position: HASS Teacher

My name is Andrew Mattin, and I am the new teacher of Humanities and Social Sciences for 2024.

I spent almost 30 years as a petroleum engineer and company executive in the oil industry, and then in 2017, I decided to change my career to become a teacher.  I have worked at Harrisdale Senior High School for the past 5-years or so, including as the Deputy Head of Learning Area in 2021.  The highlight of my time there was planning and leading 94 students and 6 staff on the 2023 Sydney-Canberra Tour.

I’m looking forward to 2024 and working with the students and staff at Applecross Senior High School.

Staff Name: Claire Nicholson
Position: HASS Teacher

I am a new teacher for the Humanities and Social Sciences department for 2024. I am very excited and feel privileged to be working at Applecross SHS.

After school, I completed an undergraduate in economics and management before completing my master’s of secondary teaching, specialising in HASS. I have recently moved back to Perth from Bunbury after teaching Humanities and a range of other subjects at a private school. I am passionate about the Humanities as I believe it provides crucial knowledge for understanding the world. My passion also lies in pastoral care, as I strongly believe that students learn best when they are happy, supported and connected.

Staff Name: Bradley O’Neill
Position: Health and Physical Education Teacher – Tennis Specialist

My name is Bradley O’Neill, and I am the new Tennis Specialist teacher at Applecross Senior High. I am super excited to begin at Applecross, teaching from years seven to ten.

I graduated from university in 2022 halfway through the year, so I have been teaching for nearly two years now. I graduated with a Bachelor of Secondary Education halfway through 2022, specialising in teaching Health and Physical Education. Over the last two years, I have partaken in a full-time HPE contract at Gilmore College as well as completed full-time relief prior to this.

Whilst studying at Murdoch, I managed to become a coach for Tennis Australia; this has furthered my depth and experience in the teaching realm. In terms of my coaching experience, I was a Senior Coach at Peppermint Grove and Allen Park Tennis Club from 2020 until 2023. I have delivered a tennis program to Scotch College and Perth Ladies College and am excited to see what I can bring to the table at Applecross Senior High.

Staff Name: Lauren Pascoe
Position: Biological Science Teacher

My name is Lauren Pascoe and I am the new teacher of Science for 2024, my areas of specialty being Human Biology and Psychology. I am very excited to be working at Applecross SHS.

A little bit about myself: I am married and have two very loud and energetic boys! I’m just back from having a year off from teaching, using my Long-Service Leave to enjoy being mum, taking my boys to school, the youngest of which started kindy in 2023. I enjoy camping and holidaying with my family, with last year being a busy year visiting Busselton, Bunbury, Waroona, as well as Japan and Singapore.

After working for the Science Teachers Association during my years studying for a Bachelor of Science, I then did a Dip. Ed to join the amazing people who call themselves teachers. I have worked in a variety of roles, mostly in the private sector, over the past 15 years, including roles such as Head of House and Year Coordinator.

I’m looking forward to starting at Applecross SHS and getting to know the amazing staff, students and wider community.

Staff Name: Megan Porter
Position: Program Coordinator – Learning Support

My name is Megan Porter, and I am the new Program Coordinator – Learning Support for 2024. I am very excited to be working at Applecross SHS.

A little bit about myself: I have a 16-year-old son and a 9 year old daughter. I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I love going to the movies and watching action movies.

I have worked in a variety of roles in primary, high school and education support settings over the past 14 years. Working with students with alternative learning needs is my passion, as I strongly believe that students learn best when they are happy, supported and connected.

I’m thrilled to have been appointed to what I consider to be one of the best schools in the state. I’m passionate about making a difference to the lives of students and really looking forward to making a positive contribution in my role as Program Coordinator – Learning Support.

Staff Name: Tamarra Sheldon
Position: Home Economics Teacher

My name is Ms Tam Sheldon, and I am joining the Technologies Department as a Food Science Technology and Hospitality Teacher.

I have two amazing adult children and spend my spare time exploring Mother Nature and entertaining my friends and family. I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of reconstructing recipes from the menus of my favourite restaurants. I love watching live sports, especially my boys on the football field.

My professional journey commenced with me being a Functions Manager at a five-star hotel for ten years. This is where my passion for hospitality began, and 30 years later, I continually feel very blessed to share my experiences and upskill students to be industry-competent upon completion of their Certificate II in Hospitality.

As cliché as it may sound, I was born to be a teacher. Ensuring that all students are aware of their value and importance on their pathways is a high priority in my educational journey for them. I focus on embracing each individual’s creativity and positively encouraging them to always achieve at their highest level but to enjoy the journey along the way.

Staff Name: Karen Smith
Position: HoLA – Science

My name is Karen Smith, and I am the new Head of Science for 2024. I am delighted to be working at Applecross Senior High School.

I have three adult children, four grandchildren and 2 dogs. I compete in triathlons, this year, I am working my way towards my 8th 70.3 Ironman in December and belong to both Fremantle triathlon club and Riverton Masters swimming club. I enjoy cooking, making clothes and calligraphy.

I have worked at a variety of schools, including Rossmoyne and Harrisdale, and in a variety of roles: Head of Science, Manager of Student Services, Deputy Principal and Upper School Coordinator, to name a few.

I have been an ATAR Chemistry marker for more than 15 years, and I am currently on the SCSA Chemistry Advisory Council.

I have a passion for Science, particularly Chemistry, and feel Science is a subject relevant to everyday life, being one of the most important channels of knowledge. I enjoy creating a love of learning in my students by being supportive, encouraging and motivating.

I am excited to be appointed to Applecross Senior High School and look forward to making a positive difference in student learning.

Staff Name: Lauren Street
Position: HASS Teacher

My name is Lauren Street, and I am very excited to be teaching Humanities and Social Sciences at Applecross SHS this year.

A little bit about myself: in my free time, I enjoy camping, hiking, swimming and spending time outside in nature. I have a dog named Cleo, who loves to tag along on my adventures.

I have a degree in Political Science and International Relations and have taught in schools in Perth and Melbourne. This year will be my 5th year of teaching.

I am passionate about supporting student learning and am excited to share my love of the Humanities and Social Sciences with my students.

Staff Name: Jacqueline Ukich
Position: English Teacher

I am thrilled to join the Applecross Senior High School team as a teacher of English. With a Bachelor of Education from Curtin University and three decades of rich teaching experience, I am eager to embark on this new journey with you all.

My teaching path has been diverse and fulfilling, with roles including Acting Post-Compulsory Coordinator and Acting Deputy Principal at different district high schools across WA. I’ve taught in the public and private sectors, and my first overseas teaching experience in Southeast London was part of a year-long, globe-trotting adventure. For the past nine years, I’ve shaped young minds at Frederick Irwin Anglican School.

Staff Name: Heather Valentine
Position: Physical Science Teacher

My name is Heather Valentine, and I am one of the new Science teachers for 2024. I am very excited to contribute to the dynamic team and the sensational school.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science, I started my working life as a Research Assistant, then subsequently studied to become a qualified Librarian. This was promptly followed by ten years at home with my children during their formative years. By the time my youngest started school, I had retrained as a teacher. I graduated with a Master of Education (Curriculum) three years ago. My passion lies with all things Physics and Chemistry, Teaching and Learning, and Literacy and Numeracy.

Staff Name: Lauren Warschauer
Position: Health and Physical Education Teacher

I am a new Health and Physical Education Teacher for 2024. I am very excited to be joining the Health and Physical Education Team at Applecross and to be teaching Health ATAR and General, Fitness and Health and PE.

I graduated from Notre Dame in 2018. Since then, I have spent three years teaching in country Queensland and 2 years at Byford Secondary College. My passion is providing students with lots of opportunities to embrace healthy, happy and active lifestyles via both curricular and extracurricular programs.

Staff Name: Nathan Whitelaw
Position: Health and Physical Education Teacher

I am the new Health and Physical Education Teacher for 2024. I am very excited to be working at Applecross SHS.

Previously to teaching, I studied for a Bachelor in Sports Science providing me with extensive knowledge in Health and Physical Education. I have had the privilege of teaching Health and Physical Education at Fernhill School in the United Kingdom and, most recently, at Wanneroo Secondary College over the last 2 years. With my love and passion for Physical Education and sports, I inspire all students to reach the benefits of physical activity.