Where Are They Now - Mark Kennedy
author: Lorrie Liston
The College reconnects with Mark Kennedy (SPC 1992-97) who has enjoyed a varied teaching career and is currently Deputy Principal at St Joseph’s College, Geelong.
Where has life taken you since leaving SPC?
I graduated in 1997 and then studied at ACU Aquinas campus where I completed a Bachelor of Education. While studying, I played football for the North Ballarat Roosters in the VFL. After graduating from university, I was employed at St Thomas More Primary School in Alfredton where I taught Year 6 for three years. I also joined the Redan Football Club and was involved in a few of the winning grand final teams.
Life then took me to Cairns, where some of my St Pat’s mates, Dan Callanan (SPC 1992-1997) and Aaron Rushton (SPC 1992-1997) were living. Mark Kersley (SPC 1992-1997) and Simon Powell (SPC 1992-1997) came with me to Cairns but returned to Victoria after a year or so. I remained in Cairns for 11 great years where I taught at a wonderful P-12 school, St Andrew’s Catholic College. I was also the head playing coach at the Cairns Saints Football Club and managed to coach back-to-back premierships. After retiring in 2011, I stayed heavily involved in the football club as vice president and bench coach etc. I married Renee in 2012 in Port Douglas and our daughter Evelyn was born two years later. It was at this time that we felt a move back to Victoria was on the cards as we were keen to have our children closer to both our Victorian-based families. I started job hunting and was successful in gaining the position of Deputy Principal at St Joseph’s College, Geelong. We sold up and farewelled Cairns and bought a house in Ocean Grove. We have since welcomed our second daughter Annie into our lives and are very happy to be closer to family and friends. I am loving my role at St Joseph’s and it is nice to be part of the Edmund Rice Education Australia schooling again.
What are your favourite memories of your time at St Patrick’s College?
My favourite memories include boat race assemblies, the boat race itself, the football program, jerks in Year 7 and 8, mateship and boarding in Year 11 and 12.
Which teacher from your time at SPC had the greatest impact on you? Why?
I felt Mr Petrie, Mr Porter, Miss Patching, Mr Farley, Mr Ryan and Br Zoch were a few of the teachers that had an impact on me.
How has your education shaped your professional life?
I feel St Pat’s helped develop my leadership skills through being a member of the Year 12 SRC as well as being the 1st XVIII football team captain. I played in the 1st XVIII in Year 10 after a stern talking to from Mr Farley, but it did build my confidence and leadership capabilities. In my professional life, I have developed from a teacher to a Year Coordinator, to an Assistant Principal Religious Education and then to the Deputy Principal in quick succession. I have studied a Masters of Educational Leadership through ACU and I am now enrolled in a Masters of Religious Education to add value to my current role at St Joseph’s.
How has your time at SPC shaped your personal values and your family life?
I feel St Pat’s helped complement my family values which were built on strong faith, respect, compassion and being grounded. I was taught to work hard and appreciate the positives in life. I feel I am a resilient and persistent person who strives to achieve high standards while being true to myself, loved ones and my friends.
If you could pass on one message to the students of today, what would it be?
Apply effort, have fun and be respectful to all who are helping you on your journey. I use the term GRIT with the St Joseph’s boys which stands for Growth Mindset, Resilience, Persistence and Tenacity.
“If it is to be it is up to me” is also a term that is used to give students of today some perspective. Ronald Barassi used this term a lot on his football journey.