Jarrod Heglund is now a household name in SCEA schools, having served for fifteen years at Swan Christian College (SCC) and now at Northshore Christian Grammar School (NCGS).
He has held several leadership positions in SCEA schools and also at St Stephen’s School (Duncraig). However, his answer as to why he wanted to pursue Education as a career path may surprise you.
“I always wanted to work with either children or animals,” says Jarrod as he mentors two flamboyant Year 9 boys during a recess break last week.
“Some people might think there are a lot of similarities!” he jokes as the young chaps see the funny side while being ‘kept in’ for five minutes at recess.
Jarrod completed a Biological Science degree at Curtin University before a post-graduate qualification in Secondary Education at Joondalup saw him ready to hit the classroom and begin his teaching career. A final practicum at SCC convinced Dr Ian Lambert and Mr Martin Thyer to employ Jarrod for the 2004 school year.
A few years in the classroom demonstrated Jarrod’s passion for teaching, and he soon became Head of House at SCC and then Acting Deputy of Primary for three years. After a 3-year stint at St Stephens’ as Head of Primary, Jarrod moved to Northshore, where he has been enjoying enrolment growth under Principal Mr Stuart Chisholm.
Northshore’s close ties with the local church ‘True North’ have led to Jarrod’s professional and personal circles overlapping – Jarrod has been an attendee at this church since he was five years old!
“SCEA schools have always strived to do Christian Education well. There is that constant push to look at what we are delivering and ask ourselves: how do we do this better?” says Jarrod.
“How do we deliver the gospel message to a rapidly changing world? This is a largely ‘unchurched’ community, and I think SCEA schools have always worked to improve the way that we connect with students and families.”
Jarrod was raised in a Christian family and attended Kingsway Christian College in his schooling years. However, the reality of the gospel message really took hold at an Easter camp when Jarrod was 16 years of age:
“Two youth pastors, Phil Croot [now a teacher at Mundaring Christian College] and (later on) Scott Vawser, had a big impact on me during those important years of life. The Christian life became real for me at that camp, and it was a real turning point for me in my life.”
Since then, Jarrod has pursued excellence in teaching, but he also realizes that students are looking to Christian staff to model the way for them.
“I have found that staffing in SCEA schools involves actively seeking out Christ-centred teachers, and the benefits are noticeable when we get that right. Committed Christians can achieve amazing things when they work together.”