Life beyond Radford

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Last updated 8.08.2018

Sara Vassallo

Class of 2002
OCCUPATION Teacher
Lives Canberra, Australia
Attendance at radford Years 8-12
House Banksia
Education
  • Bachelor Degree, The Australian National University, Psychology and Sociology
  • Graduate Diploma, Australian Catholic University, Education
Work history
  • Teacher
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What does life look for you now?

I think I might finally be able to class myself as a “grown up” ? I’m loving working as a teacher and have recently purchased my own place which is a terrifying but exciting step. I’m missing the opportunity to travel (although may already be making some plans for long-service leave in 8.5 years!) but am enjoying the opportunity to finally establish myself in a real career and reclaim Canberra as home.

Tell us what you are passionate about?

I still volunteer as a Girl Guide Leader and am a passionate fan of Disney.

When you were young, what were you hoping to be when you grew up?

I think I did used to say a teacher, although I never expected to end up back at Radford as a teacher!!! It was also a dream to work at Disneyland, so to have the opportunity to have worked at both Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise Line has been amazing!!!

What is your favourite Radford moment?

So many!!! Year 9 Camp has to be on that list…both for the challenge and opportunity to make life-long memories with friends. Drama and musical productions are also high on the list. But I think also the day-to-day life at Radford – being silly with friends, getting to explode things “for science” in the quad, running to the canteen at recess to ensure you can get a chunion or cheese roll, finally graduating to the senior uniform (with large lockers and common room!)…

Do you have a particular role model or inspirational figure from Radford or now?

Both from my days as a student and now as a staff member I have to say the teachers – seeing the dedication and enthusiasm so many Radford teachers put into their teaching has been extremely inspirational for me and has also caused me to set quite a high bar for myself!

How easy was it to decide what to do in life?

I’m still not totally sure what I want to do “when I grow up” so I would say not easy at all! But my lack of direction has also allowed to take up some incredible opportunities that have come my way through the years. It is actually quite freeing to be able to say “this is what I want to do for now” and not worry too much about whether this is a 2 or 10 year commitment.
It wasn’t my intention to teach…I just kept making small decisions along the way that seemed to all point this way eventually!

Did your further study or career go exactly as you'd planned?

I can’t really say I had a plan! It was a bit more of a choose-your-own-adventure where I was making decisions at certain points without a script to follow. But I have definitely loved the way it has worked out so far!

What do you know now, that you wish you'd known when you were at Radford?

I know I was told it at the time, but I didn’t believe how true it is - Your marks don’t define you. In fact, after 6 months they are totally irrelevant (and I think these days that is even more true). So pick the subjects and opportunities that you think you will enjoy not just those that you think will look good on your CV.

What advice do you have for current students?

Take all the opportunities you can!!!

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