Welcome Mr Ivan McLean

We welcomed Mr Ivan McLean as Head of Middle School in Term 1. He has already integrated so well into the School community, but we wanted to know more about the person behind the role. Thanks, Ivan, for taking the time to give us some insights!

  1. What was your background before joining St Mark's? I have worked at several Anglican Schools in Perth (St Mary's, Guildford Grammar, Hale School as Head of Middle Years, and Peter Moyes ACS for nine years as Head of Senior School) before taking the adventurous step of moving to Kuala Lumpur. I spent five and a half years in Kuala Lumpur at the Australian International School Malaysia. Here I was the Head of Middle and Senior Schools as well as Acting Principal.

  2. When did you realise you wanted to become a teacher, and what characteristics have you taken from your own teachers into your classrooms? A year after leaving school, I was studying Medicine – and not enjoying it. It was then I decided that I would prefer to be making a difference in students' lives in schools. The biggest lesson I learned from my teachers is that relationships are important in classrooms and staff rooms.

  3. What's one thing you wish you had known before starting a career as a teacher? Nothing, really … my journey helped me to learn then just as it is now.

  4. As Head of Middle School, what does true leadership mean to you? True leadership means giving selflessly and entirely, among a great deal of many other things but serving others is a crucial component.

  5. What's the best piece of advice that you've ever received? The ten commandments are a good start, but I might say something like "value yourself according to your own metric" or something similar. Too often in our times, too many people are mentally anguished by viewing what others present as their best-glorified selves (especially on social media), portraying un-realities. Be real and be realistic.

  6. What do you hope to achieve during your time at St Mark's? I would like to continue the great successes in our school and refine/rejuvenate/reposition those areas where we need to improve. I want every Middle School student here to finish Year 8 having tried my mantra of "Try everything that the school offers", for Middle School is the greatest time to discover talents and interests.

  7. What advice do you have for kids who are struggling at school? Communicate widely – with parents, teachers and support staff – and use older people's expertise and experience to help.

  8. What would you say to someone considering sending their child to St Mark's? Come in and see for yourselves. I am very proud of our students and how they apply themselves in classes. Being in school helps you really understand and appreciate the wonderful vibe in our Middle School.

  9. You have experienced a term here; what is your favourite thing about working at St Mark's? NOT CoVID! But really …despite CoVID, I have enjoyed the feeling of community at St Mark's – even in challenging times.

  10. What accomplishment are you most proud of? My family makes me proud all the time … I have a fabulous wife and two fantastic children.

  11. Tell us something that might surprise us about you. One of these is a lie … but which one?!
  1. My mother is Ukrainian, and I speak it somewhat fluently
  2. I taught Heath Ledger Maths before he moved across the country
  3. I am a qualified ballet instructor (Level 1) and was a dance instructor for a company that toured internationally
  4. I am one of 6 children
  5. I have seen BTS in concert three times in 3 different countries

We are very curious about this last answer! Thanks to Ivan for taking the time to tell our community a little bit about yourself! It's so great having you at St Mark's!