SA Branch Executive

SA Branch President - Warren Symonds

Dale Bennett Alice Dunlop Catherine Anne Lockhart
Annette Reid
Bev Rogers Laura Searle
Robert Sieben Mark Simpson

Warren Symonds

ACEL SA Branch President

Warren Symonds is an experienced educator and has worked in Department for Education in South Australia since 1987. His teaching experience has varied from small Area Schools through to large metropolitan High Schools. For the past eight years Warren has been the Principal of Mount Barker High School situated in one of the fastest growing cities in Australia. During this time he has initiated Mount Barker High Schools introduction of Positive Psychology into a whole school approach. This concept was expanded into the Mount Barker community and 8 primary schools to improve the wellbeing of over 3000 children and young people across the Adelaide Hills. Professor Martin Seligman has referred to the approaches being used at Mount Barker High School as being a world's first and at the cutting edge of teaching Positive Education to a whole school community.

Warren has been an active member of ACEL supporting the development of leadership with a focus on leader's wellbeing. He was the recipient of the 2017 ACEL SA Educational Leadership Medal and the ACEL National Fellowship award.

Dale Bennett

Branch Executive Member

Dale has been an educator for 30 years and worked across all sectors across three states and internationally. He is currently Deputy Principal and Head of Torrens Park Campus, Scotch College, Adelaide. He is fascinated by the challenges facing leaders in the classroom and within organisations. He believes each generation is capable of making change and empowerment of students to drive positive school cultures in collaboration with teachers and community is the key to success for education into the future.

Dale also believes that schools need to have a conscience about social justice issues and that actions speak louder than words and this is reflected in his work with students to support White Ribbon. Over his career Dale has been involved in a range of committees and led various networks in the pursuit of the greater good for the best of professions. He believes the opportunities for ACEL to shape the leadership in education conversation in South Australia are boundless and looks forward to making a purposeful contribution.

Alice Dunlop

Branch Executive Member

Alice is recognised for her work in effective teaching and pedagogical leadership. She has a passion for leading learning and school improvement and is recognised for her work in leading ecological initiatives at the both school and system level.

Alice holds a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Education, Master of Theology and is in her final year of her Doctorate of Philosophy specialising in Science Education.

Alice’s leadership has been recognised by ACEL receiving the SA Educational Leadership Award for her leadership in Ecological Sustainability and the National Keith Tronc Award for Outstanding Teacher Leadership. 

Catherine Lockhart

Branch Executive Member

Catherine Lockhart is an experienced educator who has worked in independent, catholic and international schools in a career spanning 27 years.

Catherine has a passion for innovative and student centred curriculum development.  She has also focussed throughout her career on the development of a holistic approach to education, ensuring that students have access to academic and co curricula opportunities balanced with health and personal development.

Catherine believes that targeted, relevant professional development for teachers is the key to driving educational change within schools.  She is currently undertaking a PhD investigating professional development opportunities to enhance technology integration.

Annette Reid

Branch Executive Member

Annette Reid has had various coordinator roles including the Literacy Coordinator at various sites and the South Valley Partnership coordinator of facilitators. She really enjoys mentoring others, in particular Early Career Teachers and her work with the DECD Early Career Teacher team has provided her the tools to do this at the various sites she has worked at. Annette is looking forward to working with educators across sectors to enhance leadership. She is keen to commit to be a part of the SA Branch’s goal of targeting aspiring leaders. She is on the SA Awards subcommittee and is looking forward to continuing to develop this prestigious event and celebrating the success of various SA leaders.

Annette looks forward to bringing her passion in education and fresh ideas to the South Australian ACEL Branch Executive.

Dr Bev Rogers

Branch Executive Member

Dr Bev Rogers is Lecturer/researcher in Leadership and Management within the Masters of Education program at Flinders University. Bev was previously a secondary principal in both country and disadvantaged areas of Adelaide, and Director of Teaching and Learning within the Department of Education and Child Development, prior to joining Flinders University in 2014. Bev is topic coordinator for Leadership and Management in Education, Planning Change in Organisations and Educational Governance (newly developed). Her research interests include rethinking and challenging current dominant and culturally limited Western models of educational leadership, in addition to investigating leading practices which support teachers, to theorise and critically examine what they do. Her current research focuses on the impact of study/learning on leadership practice – how does it contribute to constructing a view of personal leadership which informs and is informed through a practice/theory connection?

Laura Searle

Branch Executive Member

Laura Searle is a teacher in Adelaide. She is in her fifth year of teaching, and although currently on maternity leave, enjoyed a second year teaching Year 3's earlier in the year. In 2010 she completed a Bachelor of Psychological Science, and after travelling overseas, returned to complete a Diploma of Teaching and Learning. Laura has had experience teaching R-2 and has had opportunities working in leadership within her school over the last two years.

Laura values developing strong relationships with staff and families across the school community, and is enthusiastic about developing her knowledge and skills in education across a variety of programs and teaching experiences. She brings a youthful energy to the classroom, and delivers programs that are filled with achievable goals, informative content, colour, and fun. She builds environments within the classroom that allow children to show individuality, feel safe and to develop their independence.

In 2016, Laura was awarded the ACEL 'New Voice' in School Leadership Scholarship, and was also the recipient of the ACEL Keith Tronc award.

Laura has worked with ACEL for two years, coordinating wellbeing events for teachers, and participating in numerous ACEL events. She looks forward to continuing her work on the SA Branch Executive in 2018.

Robert Sieben

Branch Executive Member

Robert (Rob) Sieben BSc, MEd (Ed Admin), MACEL has held a number of administrative positions in a career spanning over thirty years in education. He has also worked as a consultant in matters of curriculum delivery, school administration and school network infrastructure. He has contributed both nationally and internationally to the understanding of digital learning technologies and the current theories and practices shaping paradigm reform. He is currently the Director of the Hartley Institute, an organisation that was founded in late 2015 in South Australia to provide quality professional learning programs which call on current research and reflective practices to drive improvement in teaching and learning.

Mark Simpson

Branch Executive Member

Mark has worked in a range of curriculum and pastoral leadership positions and is currently the Principal of Trinity College South a position he has held for the past eight years. This position has allowed him to lead a school of approximately 850 students within a College of 3700 students. He has had extensive experience as school leader in the Independent and Catholic school systems and in city and country school settings having worked in Whyalla, Geelong and Adelaide. Mark has a particular passion for strategic leadership, leadership of learning, and building community relations.