Full circle: UniSC grad returns to old high school | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Full circle: UniSC grad returns to old high school

Some people cringe when they think back to the awkwardness, the drama of their high school years.

Isabelle Smith is not one of those people.

“I loved my high school because of what I got to do there and how it made me feel. I had heaps of fantastic opportunities and I always felt encouraged, supported and valued,” she said.

In fact she enjoyed her time as a student of Glasshouse Christian College so much, it helped inspire her to study a Bachelor of Primary Education at UniSC so she could give others that same experience, which she’s now doing as a schoolteacher.

And not just at any school either. Her new career has taken her full circle to teach where she was taught, at Glasshouse Christian College.

“Being a teacher back here is a great privilege because I get to be part of what built me up as a teenager. I get to contribute to that culture and hopefully help my students feel the same support I did,” she said.

That sense of camaraderie Isabelle felt in her school community, continued into her university experience at UniSC’s Caboolture campus where she learned to teach.

“Our campus was smaller, but provided a great community to do my four years in. It meant I did all my classes with most of the same people, and we got to know and support each other really well over our degree,” she said.

“We spent many hours sitting in a computer lab all to ourselves, eating snacks, laughing and discussing our ideas - it was fantastic. Doing the hard yards of uni with others is so important and I would encourage anyone who hasn't found a friend yet to make the time for it.

“I look forward to the learning and laughter my friends and I will continue to share as we progress in our teaching careers.” 

Those hours spent ‘doing the hard yards’ did more than just forge friendships.

It culminated in Isabelle receiving a Medal for Academic Excellence for her remarkable efforts, achieving a GPA above 6.85 upon completion of her degree.

“It was a little surreal to be honest,” she said.

“It was very special to acknowledge how much hard work went into my degree and I'm grateful for all the help I received over the years to achieve it.”

Now Isabelle, or Ms Smith as she goes by these days, is paying that help forward.

Supporting a new generation to learn, to grow and to flourish, in the same classrooms and halls she once did.

“It means a lot that I get to work back at where I went to school,” she said.

“I look forward to what the coming years bring!”

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