They say red hair skips a generation, but perhaps the teaching gene does as well.
Jade Dillon has followed in her grandmother Faye’s footsteps and become primary school teacher. After achieving excellent results at the University of Canberra, Jade was snaffled by Aranda primary school in the nation’s capital just days after her final class – to teach Year 2.
Jade, now 24, is a Griffith girl who studied at Wade High and before that Griffith East, which is where grandma Faye taught many years ago.
She’s been teaching since December, and it’s been a tough start.
“I used to think teachers went home soon after the students did, but I’m there until 6pm most days. There is so much admin and paperwork to do. I don’t think parents and students fully appreciate how hard teachers work.”
“I love the kids though, they’re adorable. It’s all the paperwork that makes the job a real challenge.”
When Jade was at school, being a teacher wasn’t her first preference.
“I wanted to become a nurse, because I like helping people. But I soon decided education is such a rewarding career.”
Jade's achievement has made all three generations of the family extremely proud, including grandparents Faye and John Dillon, Kevin and Val Power; parents Karen and Tony and her sister Jessie.
“She’s a very hard worker. It’s nice to see all that stress she went through at uni now pay off,” mum Karen said.
Karen would have liked her daughter to come home and teach in Griffith, but Jade is enchanted by the semi-big smoke ACT.
“There’s just so much to do here – all the restaurants and attractions. It reminds me a lot of Griffith, but it’s bigger.”
Jade offered some advice for students currently doing their HSC.
“It’s important to try you best, but remember there are always alternative ways to get into university.
“There’s early entry, bridging courses, and mature age entry starts from 21. If you follow your dreams, you can achieve your goals at any age.”