Hunter Sports High science teacher Janelle Sceresini always wanted to be a teacher but never thought it would be at her old school.
Janelle Wilson, as she was known back then, attended Gateshead High from 1979 to 1985. A time when bands like U2, Bon Jovi, and young Ms Wilson’s particular favourite, Wham, were dominating the charts.
Janelle arrived in Year 7 and was impressed by the newly constructed bini shell.
“By Year 9, in 1981 the new library block was built and I thought it was amazing,” she recalled.
Janelle has fond memories of her time at school, particularly her sporting achievements.
”I was in the Gateshead High girls soccer team from Year 8-12,” she said.
“Miss Collins, our PE teacher and coach, would take us on many trips away to compete in state knockout games.
“We made the state grand final four times, winning the competition three times.
“This was years before we became a sports high school so those achievements were even more special.”
Every year Gateshead English Department produced either a musical or play.
“I loved being involved in them, even though my total lack of musical talent had me relegated to the chorus,” Janelle said.
“To us kids, these productions were huge and the famous bini shell was such an exciting venue to perform in. We loved it.”
Sausage rolls in a buttered bun, with or without sauce (Janelle preferred without), was an absolute favourite lunch-time purchase.
“Kids now just don't get it,” she said. “And singing the school song at assemblies.
“One line was particularly high pitched and we all thought it was hilarious to try to sing it as high as humanly possible.”
After completing university in 1989, Janelle taught at various schools before taking up a casual position at Gateshead in 1998, going full-time from 2003.
”I’ve been very fortunate to work with some amazing teachers at Hunter Sports High and shared many sporting successes,” she said.
“Those which stand out the most have been the winning of the Girls Bill Turner Trophy [a National Football competition for U15's],” Janelle said.
“It takes me back to those days 35 years ago when I was playing and we did so well for a regional school.
“I love teaching at my old school and the fact that in some cases I am teaching second generations of family members.
“I love giving back to the community I grew up in.”
Janelle also cherishes sharing academic success with her students.
“I am so proud of these young people who have gone on to be successful in their chosen careers and developed into genuinely wonderful young adults,” she said.