Alumni - When Student Becomes Teacher

Most students spend no more than thirteen years at GPCC. In 2021 we are blessed to have 11 of our Alumni teaching and serving the next generation of students in both our Primary and Secondary School. We also have another 5 Alumni working in our ICT, Counselling and Educational Support Departments. 

JO PEARSON (nee McCarthy) is one of our Primary teachers who attended GPCC from the first day in 1982 in Year 2, along with her sister Kirsty in Kindergarten. Jo's brother, Mike McCarthy was also a student at GPCC and their mother, Stephanie (Steve) worked in various Administration roles; PA to Principal, Registrar and Development Officer for 25 years. Both Jo and Kirsty's children have all attended GPCC. 

1982 First Day of GPCC
(left) Kirsty Watson (nee McCarthy), (right) Jo Pearson (nee McCarthy) in 1982

JOEL GIBBINS attended GPCC in Years 10 - 12 graduating in 2005. Joel worked in Early Childhood Education for 10 years before completing his Bachelor of Early Childhood and Primary Education which led him to return to GPCC to work in our Primary School. Joel is married with 3 children, 2 of which already attend GPCC.

When asked what he is passionate about, Joel replies "If you ask my children “what is Daddy passionate about?” or “what does Daddy spend most of his time doing?” They would say that I am busy being a teacher or that I am playing guitar (bass) at church. However, I’d like to think that I was passionate about relationships. I desire to be an engaged father, a faithful friend and a caring neighbour. Relationships will hold a greater value in the life to come rather than the things that I did. 

KATELYN STEWART (nee Manson) attended GPCC from Years 7 - 12 graduating in 2013. Katelyn works in our Secondary School in the PDHPE Department, she is married to Vince Stewart who also attended GPCC graduating in 2012. 

We asked Katelyn when and why did she decided to become a teacher? Katelyn replied "I didn’t think I wanted to be a teacher until I started youth leading and connecting with the kids and realising that I really enjoyed being around them. Reflecting on my high school years I really enjoyed school and the relationships I made and felt like this was something God had put on my heart to become a teacher." 

Katelyn decided to return to teach at GPCC as she said "I valued the Christian education, the culture of the school and the way GPCC cared for students and their families. This was so imperative in my relationship with Christ and I wanted to be able to be apart of this mission and building God’s kingdom and sharing this news with teenagers." 

KRISTIE POCKNALL (nee Davis) completed her 13 years of schooling at GPCC, graduating Year 12 in 1999. In 2004 after completing a Bachelor of Education and a Certificate in Gifted Education, Kristie returned to GPCC as a part time staff member for a year before starting full time in Primary in 2005. Kristie is married to Nathan and they are expecting a baby this year. 

When asked what has changed since she first started attending GPCC, Kristie replies - "When I started at GPCC in 1987 we had one building (The Jacaranda Room) and our school was called Green Point Baptist Christian Community School. We would hold assemblies at the bottom of the Jacaranda stairs and the whole school would fit in this area with plenty of leftover space. The uniform was completely different. I remember the uniform changed again when I was in Year 5 or 6 and again in High School. Our library consisted of a very small room with a few bookshelves. Every fortnight the local library Book Mobile would come to school so students were able to borrow a wider range of books. 

Mr Vant was our Head Teacher (Principal) at the time I started school. He was also a classroom teacher as well and there were only about ten members on staff. Every year we would hold Bonfire Nights, Spring Fetes and many community events which helped the school feel like a big family. Every staff member knew every child by name and their parents and siblings.

As I moved through the grades the school started to get bigger and every couple of years we would go through the excitement of seeing a new building being built. One of the most exciting years was when the MPC was built. I remember being part of the opening ceremony and performing a song with a group of my classmates. 

Over my years as a student and teacher at GPCC I have seen many teachers and staff members come and go. I have experienced the leadership of many principals and the changes this inevitably brings. It has been exciting to watch the school grow – new buildings, more children, bigger staff.  I love being able to talk to the children in my own class about what the school use to be like at the very beginning."