Meet Our Staff: John Wray, Campus Dean

You’ve probably seen the amazing morning sunrise photographs taken at the College on our Facebook page. These are usually taken by John Wray, Campus Dean. Always first at the College in the morning and often late to leave, John plays an essential role in the running of the College.

This week we chat with him in the Meet Our Staff series.

What is your role at the College?

I have a varied role as Campus Dean. On a day-to-day level, I look after teacher reliefs, changes to rooms and staffing due to College events and the logistics of such events. On a broader scale I look after the running of all Years 10 – 12 examinations, national testing such as NAPLAN, BRLA, OLNA and EST. The creation of the College’s timetable for each Year group and any changes to timetables due to student or staff changes. These form a major part of my role. I am currently starting on the 2021 timetable and soon will be asking students for their choices. The bus services and College calendar are also part of my responsibilities. It is a challenging but rewarding, in particular being part of the Executive team and creating wonderful opportunities for our students each year.

Where were you before coming to Santa Maria?

Before arriving at Santa Maria as Head of Mathematics in 2001, I spent 19 years teaching at schools such as Hamilton Hill, Rockingham, Tom Price and Lakeland (South Lakes). In 2006 I became the Campus Dean, which was a newly created position. Over the years I have seen the College grow, from being Years 8 – 12 to now 5 – 12, and with double the number of students. 

What do you love about Santa Maria College?

Apart from watching the morning sunrise from my office window, particularly in winter, my favourite thing about the College is the students. I remember my first week at the school and the number of students who said hello with a smile as I walked past. Many years on this is still the case, as students I have never taught still smile and say hello when I move around the school. Santa Maria students are special and every day I see instances of their care for each other and of others less fortunate than us.

As a Mathematics teacher, I love the subject. Not all students share the same feeling, so in my classes, I always try to have students see their success in the subject. I try to make the subject come alive, but I probably talk too much in doing so. I also believe that it is okay to be wrong but believe in getting better.

What are you reading at the moment?

At the moment I am reading Victory at Villers-Bretonneux by Peter Fitzsimons, but it is a book that can be picked up every so often. I enjoy history books. My favourite fiction author is Jo Nesbo, a Norwegian crime novelist. 

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