Life in the fast lane – Steph Halpin’s story
Elite runner, teacher and athletic mentor Steph Halpin has lived the experience of ‘No Pain, No Gain.’ Whether completing a grueling Ironman, motivating her students, or mothering her daughter, she never fails to give one hundred percent. And she has certainly reaped the rewards. Currently living her dream as Head Teacher of PDHPE at Tamworth High School, it’s been 22 years since Steph graduated Year 6 at St Edwards, and she still credits the school with putting her on the path to all her sporting opportunities, and her subsequent success.
“I have very fond memories of my time at St Ed’s, I feel this is where my sporting opportunities began and what has led to me being so successful in many sporting areas and in life,” Steph says.
When asked about her favourite memories of life at St Ed’s, Steph says it’s hard to answer – not only because it is 22 years since she graduated Year 6, but also because there were so many great experiences! Steph says the Cross Country and Athletics Carnivals will always hold a special place for her because running was, and continues to be, a passion. As age champion in the majority of those carnivals throughout her time at St Ed’s, she has left a legacy that current students still follow.
“It’s exciting to see the next generations coming through, but I was pretty pleased the other day to discover I still hold two records for Athletics!” Steph says.
Steph was also the first person to be recognised as Sportsperson of the Year when she was in year 5 – an award that continues to this day.
With all that energy to burn, it’s no surprise that another fond memory for Steph is the canteen! She remembers Mrs Dubois behind the counter with countless delicious options, and a huge smile! Mr McIlveen was another staff member Steph remembers warmly. A friendly face and a big supporter of all things sport, Steph says she admired his great listening skills, and the way he always showed genuine interest in what she was up to.
“I know that interest extended to the wider student body as well. I’m so pleased to see that he is still teaching. He is a great asset to St Ed’s and to all of the students that he teaches,” Steph says.
Perhaps the positive influence of teachers at St Ed’s was part of what set Steph on her career path.
“I’m currently the Head Teacher of PDHPE at Tamworth High School. I enjoy passing on my knowledge to others and love seeing kids have ‘light bulb’ moments! I know I can’t change the life of every student I teach, but I do my best to help them leave my classroom having learnt something new or having developed a new skill. It’s not necessarily about having the best grades but about seeing constant growth in the students I teach,” Steph says.
After studying in Newcastle and working there, Steph took the plunge and headed out to Menindee, in the State’s far west, for three years. The experience helped her develop professionally and personally, and ultimately led her home to her current role as the Head of PDHPE at Tamworth High.
“I’m lucky to work with some very skilled and innovative PE teachers to give the students at Tamworth High positive and challenging opportunities in the physical activity space.”It’s great to know that not only St Ed’s classroom learning, but extracurricular experiences, and our teaching staff, are inspiring future teachers, athletes and leaders – or in Steph’s case – all three rolled into one.
Highlight of Achievements:
- Representative of Australia in Touch Football
- Completing two full Ironman Triathlons
- Walking the Kokoda Track
- Summiting Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia
- Obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree at University
- Head of PE Department at Tamworth High School