Where are they now?
Alicia was an Athena student from Kindy all the way to Year 9 in our High School. Below she shares her view of her school years looking back from her current vantage point as an adult, having just completed her degree in Business Communication.
''Graduating from University (University of Technology Sydney) made me think about all those years of schooling I went through to get where I am today and, with no surprise, I can definitely say that my time at Athena surpassed everything else. This is because of many factors such as the safe environment of the school, the close friendships I cherish today, but most importantly, the study methods that Athena practice.
The one-on-one time with the teachers was paramount in ensuring that not only did we fully understand what we were being taught, but we knew how to apply the knowledge we had learnt.
Most importantly, the study technology that The Athena School practice gave me the skills to be able to learn and fully understand what it was that I was studying, even in my higher (and harder) education. I cannot speak highly enough of this study method as it is the reason I was able to successfully graduate University with higher than average marks. I can absolutely say that without a doubt!
I have to thank all of the teachers for their dedication and passion for delivering such great study methods.''
Joe joined the High School as a student in 2001 and 16 years later he is now one of the official Chaperones on our Annual High School Ski Trip.
''My time since Athena;
I start my shift at 7am. I check over the fire truck and its equipment to make sure it's all ready to go. I start to get ready to go to the gym to maintain a high level of fitness that is necessary for my job but the bells sound and the rush of excitement starts to kick in.
We are responding to a house fire and in your mind you start to prepare yourself. You check yourself first. Make sure your gear is on correctly. You check how much oxygen is in your breathing apparatus. You check your mate. That guy who is sitting next to you. That guy you rely on to back you up and to keep each other safe. Then you think about the situation. Are there persons reported inside the house? Is there going to be easy access to the fire? Is it a single level or multi-level building? Are any pets inside? Is there a risk of the fire spreading? Is there a risk of explosions or back-draft? This all happens in just a few short seconds.
As we pull out of the fire station with the sirens blaring there is a young boy with his Dad and they are waving. I wave back and think ‘Man I have the best job in the world!’
There were two things I wanted to be when I was a kid. I wanted to be in the army and I wanted to be a firefighter.
Well I’ve accomplished both and couldn't be happier. I spent 5 years in the army and served overseas and then moved on and became a firefighter. Without a doubt my time at Athena helped me get where I wanted to go in life. Not only that, more importantly I made the best friends who are family to me.
I care about my old school very much and take an active role in contributing towards what made it such a great environment for me. The best part is that I now get to take the high school kids to the snow!''
Taimania was 11 years old in 2005 when she moved to Australia with her family and enrolled straight into our Year 6 Class at Athena. This is what she has to say about her time at Athena.
''When I first came to Sydney I remember feeling so shy. Moving to this really big city from a small country town in NZ. I remember being in Year 6 at Athena and my whole class were doing a course called 'Study Skills for Life'. I remember part of the course was to discover what you wanted to be in the future. It really made me think, what do I want to do in life? What are my dreams? I was only 11 years old, so I wanted to be a lot of things but to dance - that was my passion.
The next year I moved up to my first year in High School and I started to bug my mother to put me in a dance school. My amazing mother enrolled me in after-school hip hop programs and from there I just couldn't stop. I remember training almost every day and coming home late every night after training just to wake up early to get to school the next day.
After some time the Principal, Fi Milne, offered me an opportunity to teach an after school dance class at The Athena School. I then started running hip hop dance classes in the school with the kids and was getting some pocket money too. This was such a huge opportunity for me to create choreography and teach from such a young age and it gave me enough tools under my belt to then go out and do it anywhere.
When I was 17 I graduated from The Athena High School and continued my dance training in Sydney for the next 4 years while also competing. Before I turned 21 I went to NZ to audition for a dance crew that I love so much, one that had inspired me alot. They had been the World Hip Hop Champions for 4 years straight at the time, so I just had to give this audition a shot. The choreographer of this dance crew is the choreographer for many mainstream artists like Rihanna, Janet Jackson, Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande and Little Mix.
The audition process was HUGE with dancers from all over the world. The audition was an intense 3 day program. After the 3 day audition I made it into my favourite dance crew in the world!!!!! This was after 4 years of hard work and dedication to what I love doing so much. I then competed in San Diego, California in 2015 with The Royal Family Dance Crew and we won Silver in the World Hip Hop Championship (honestly it felt like we won 1st place).
After the Hip Hop Championship I then returned to Sydney in 2016. My huge experience in NZ with some of the most incredible dancers in the world saw me gain many more skills. I've been teaching dance non stop since returning to Sydney and have been performing all over the country. I currently run my own performance group which is always fun for me to do and I teach at various dance schools around Sydney.
I just love dance so much and I'm always finding new ways to improve myself and my craft. I just have so much love for what I do in life and I couldn't be happier.
I have so much respect for the ladies who took time for me and what I love to do and helped me bring it to life."