Deborah Williams, Academic Dean
Teachers often have roles outside of the classroom whether it be as coach of a sporting team, co-ordinator of a drama programme, events manager, or even running the gifted and talented programme. These roles vary from school to school but in every case teachers must find passion and enthusiasm for all of their roles.
At Trinity Grammar School we take pride in the commitment and enthusiasm of our educators who are given the opportunity to wear different hats. Today our teacher in profile is our Academic Dean, Deborah Williams who is tasked with managing the Middle and Senior Schools’ academic programmes.
Deborah joined Trinity Grammar School in January 2018, having previously fulfilled roles including Director of Teaching and Learning at Pymble Ladies’ College, and Director of Innovations and Learning at Inaburra School, with a prior focus on teaching English. She has a Bachelor’s degree and Diploma of Education from Sydney University and a Masters degree in Education from Charles Sturt University.
With career aspirations of becoming a psychologist, Deborah’s plans changed soon after starting university: “I was passionate about literature and psychology – I studied both English and Psychology at Honours level in my undergraduate years and teaching seemed a possible next step. I was very uncertain until I did my first practicum, and then I loved it, and have ever since!”, commented Deborah. “I love working out what particular students need and might respond to.”
For Deborah, the rewards from teaching come from seeing the progress of her students over time, particularly looking at what students can do now that they could not do in the past. She also enjoys discussing literature with her students and in particular, seeing the joy in students as they discover great texts for the first time.
As the Academic Dean of Trinity, Deborah plays a vital role in setting the curriculum and determining assessment and reporting frameworks. Asked about the demands of her role, Deborah responds: “Trinity is a big landscape. The challenge is in continuing to build upon our heritage and success while striving for a genuine learning culture in which every student and teacher enjoys and embraces the teaching and learning experience.”
While her teaching credentials are exceptional, we asked Deborah some quick-fire questions about her life outside of the classroom – here’s a snapshot.
Family members: My husband, Greg is a retired firefighter and is now an ambulance chaplain. I have a daughter, Amelia who is almost finished study to become a teacher. My son, Jacob, is studying accounting and finance and we have a pet beagle named Stanley who thinks he is a human!
Favourite activities: Walking is a great way to unwind, and I especially enjoy walking by Cronulla beach with my husband and the beagle. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I also love to read … particularly fiction and articles on education written by outstanding educators.
Favourite book or film: My favourite films and books keep changing, but I just watched the movie About Time again recently, so it’s a current favourite. As for books, I can’t narrow it down to just one. My favourites are Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen), Possession (AS Byatt), and Cloudstreet (Tim Winton). I just read Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler and I’m considering putting that one on my favourites list too!
Favourite sports team: Chelsea Football Club and the Cronulla Sharks.
Ideal dinner guest: Rather than just one guest, I’d probably host a dinner party of famous women writers and politicians … but we would go out to dinner!
If I weren’t a teacher: I’d probably be a psychologist as that was the original plan.
Career aspirations as a child: Ice skater (!) or writer.
For over a hundred years Trinity Grammar School has educated boys in mind, body and spirit. Our mission is to provide a thoroughly Christian education for boys from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12, imparting knowledge and understanding of the world we live in, and recognising the importance of spiritual qualities in every sphere of learning. Trinity is fuelled by a pastorally aware culture with exceptionally high levels of individual student attention, and we aim to know, understand and nurture each boy to help him realise his potential, passion and purpose in life.
To meet our exceptional teachers, and to learn more about the Trinity difference and to discover why are one of the best schools for boys in Sydney, register for our upcoming Open Day.