Alex Wharton

Position Head of Middle School
Organisation Carinya Christian School
Location NSW

After graduating from high school and being in the top 15% in the state (NSW), Alexander undertook his teaching qualification completing a Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Sydney, with first class honours in an important dissertation around the male teacher shortage. He topped the English Curriculum Methodology subjects, majoring in English, ESL and History teaching. Whilst an undergraduate, Alexander developed leadership skills through representing the Faculty of Education in the University Academic Board, Teaching and Learning Committee, volunteer teaching in Thailand, serving as a General Executive of the Education and Social Work Society, and co-produced the Education Revue. Alexander also holds a Masters of Educational Leadership from Macquarie University with a specialisation in School Education. This has enabled him to marry his daily educational leadership practices with proven academic theory. Alexander also holds a qualification from Harvard University with a Certificate in Making Thinking Visible and is a Google Certified Educator. Alexander seeks to coach, mentor, and lead by example in all aspects of his practice, regularly drawing on the impact and influence of his qualifications.

Alexander’s desire to be a teacher and leader was fostered as a school student where his love of learning saw him stay awake, reading and discovering late into the night. He began his teaching career part time whilst finishing his tertiary studies with a Teacher Education Scholarship in 2009. Following two years of Part Time teaching, Alexander was appointed as a permanent English Teacher in a co-educational school in the Hills area of Sydney (2011), where after a short time he was promoted to a position of pastoral leadership as a Head of House (2013). Whilst at this school, Alexander taught a variety of primary and secondary classes, and was a key member of his school community. Pursuing a passion for curriculum and leadership, Alexander accepted an appointment as Head of English in 2017 which saw him lead a team of 13 staff in a K-12 school context. In this role, Alexander successfully oversaw curriculum delivery and implementation of a new HSC English syllabus and was a source of inspiration and example for other Heads of Department. In 2019, after enjoying the opportunity to contribute to the teaching and learning experience of students and schools in Sydney, Alexander searched for a less reached, less resourced school community in which he could contribute and lead. In 2019, Alexander started as the first Head of Middle School (Years 5-8) at Carinya Christian School Gunnedah. However, when appointed, the school had only operated as a K-6 school, so Alexander was tasked to lead the development into Secondary years. Alexander serves as a key member of the school’s Executive structure now, working closely with the Principal to deliver a quality education to students in strong partnership with families. Gunnedah has a 20% Indigenous population amongst the local community, and this demographic is reflective in the school attendance too. Alexander leads his Middle School staff team, his students, and advances in unchartered waters as the school grows and develops into the senior years, a first for the Gunnedah school and community.

Alexander draws on a variety of educational networks and experiences to enrich his leadership practice and to help inform excellence in his current role. For example, his skills as a marker (NAPLAN, HSC) and competition judge (Queen’s Commonwealth Essay, Red Room Poetry, NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, Australian Teachers of Media) see him raise the academic standards and requirements of students in his school. Alexander is able to work with his staff, sharing his expertise and professional knowledge to assist staff in their professional judgement at a school level. His leadership across professional associations ranges from being a Director for the English Teachers’ Association of NSW, Councilor of the Teachers’ Guild of NSW and Secretary of the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society. He has previously represented Independent School Teachers and Principals on the NSW Educational Standards Authority’s Quality Teaching Council. Alexander is passionate about the work and impact of professional associations in delivering quality professional development for teachers. His voluntary community contribution is extensive and is characterised by seeking to better the educational outcomes not only for the students in his immediate care, but society more broadly.

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