Interview by Maraia Erenavula on 24th May 2015
Krista Erenavula has seen the Nagle College community from a range of different perspectives and has a long history with this school. She is currently the TAS coordinator of our school and attended Nagle herself from 1981 to 1984, as a student, when she lived here in Blacktown. Krista now has three daughters currently attending the school and considers herself a loyal member of the Nagle College community. I sat down with her to gain some insight on her unique experiences here at Nagle.
Did you enjoy school? did you like any particular subjects? Were you a succesful student?
I really loved sport and PE. I did pretty well at long jump and my other favourite subject was Food Technology.
What were your experiences like, growing up in Blacktown at that time and going to school at that time?
It was great living in Blacktown at that time. I lived close to the school, so I'd walk to school everyday with my sister. We had a great group of neighborhood friends and a safe area and we actually played outside a lot of the time, and also I had a lot of opportunities to play a lot of sports at that time. It was great growing up in Blacktown.
Do you think the school has changed much since then and how? What's the most different thing about Nagle now and then?
Nagle's changed a lot since I went to school. At that time the front of the school was on Reservoir Road. I remember having classes in Bally and the Chapel block and Lucan. The library wasn't there and the staff room wasn't there, there was also a big field down the back and I remember having marching practice up the back of the school, which is now the front of the school. I also remember having assembly in between Bally and the Chapel; I also remember having PE in the locker area.
As a student, did you know you wanted your career to be a teacher? Or did you have any other aspirations?
At one stage, I thought I was going to be a police woman and then I thought about it and I thought teaching would fit in really well with being a parent; which I was really hoping to have a family, so teaching became the obvious choice.
Can you tell us a bit about what happened after you left Nagle and before you started working?
After I left Nagle, I went to John Paul II and did Year 11 and 12 there. Then I went off to the University of Western Sydney, where I studied for 4 years to get my Bachelor of Education.
Tell us a bit about your family? How did you meet your husband? When did you have kids and what was life like?
Well, my first teaching job was at Catherine McAuley and one winter it was getting very cold and my dad and I decided we would travel to Fiji to have a holiday. While we were there, I was playing volleyball one afternoon and on the other side of the volley ball net, I met a gentlemen and he was also the hotels piano player. We met that day and got talking and eventually we got married and then we had 5 children.
So you said that you worked at Catherine McAuley before, what other past schools have you worked at? When did you become a teacher? What subjects did you teach then?
I taught at Catherine McAuley for about 7 or 8 years and I taught Home Economics then, cooking and sewing. I also taught a lot of PE at that time and then I moved to Fiji and taught at the international school in Suva. I also taught Food Technology, Textiles, Health, PE and Science. Then I moved back to Australia and taught at Terra Sancta College, I taught mostly technology, TAS, there. And finally I've come to Nagle.
When and why did you decide to return to Nagle as a teacher? What was it like?
In 2008, a teaching position came up for a Hospitality and Food Technology teacher and so I decided to apply for that. Thankfully I got the position and returned. The school was very different to what I had remembered and although it was very exciting, I was happy to return.
Do you have any colleagues here who once taught you when you were a student? What is working with them like?
Mrs Tillman taught me PE when I was in Year 10 and I remember her because I loved PE. Also, of course Mrs Young taught me Commerce when I was here at school, I remember learning typing with Mrs Young and I think that's it.
What's it like being our schools TAS coordinator? Did you enjoy TAS subjects as a student?
It's great being the TAS coordinator, because I work with a great team and we really work hard at trying to have interesting projects that the girls get to work on. I loved Food Technology when I was at school, but I didn't really love Textiles.
Have you found that your perspective of Nagle as a teacher is different from your view as a past student?
Yes I do think it's changed a little. I enjoyed being at Nagle as a student because I had a great group of friends that I'm still close to now. We enjoyed school a lot. However the school has changed a lot and the opportunities that the students get now are so much better than what we got back then because things have changed for the better.
What's your general opinion of Nagle?
I think Nagle's a great place to send girls to get a great schooling, it's a safe place, where people genuinely care for each other. I think it's a very inclusive environment, people are very hospitable and lots of great learning happens.
So you have three daughters that currently attend Nagle right? What grades are they in?Why did you decide to send them here?
Emily's in Year 7, Maraia's in Year 9 and Litia's currently in Year 12. My husband and I decided to send the girls to Nagle, because we knew the school had a good reputation, that it was a single sex school. We knew the girls would be safe here, we're really happy that they've found good friends here, they're happy and of course it's a great learning environment for them.
How do you think your daughters experiences at Nagle will differ from your own as a student?
I think actually, that a lot of things are very similar. They've got great peer groups and have lifelong friends like I did, they still have socials like I did, they also go on retreats and camps, so lots of things are similar. What I do think is different is the way they're being taught and the sorts of things they're being taught are much more relevant and probably a bit more exciting than the way we were taught.
What do you think the future has in hold for Nagle?
I think it's got a very exciting future. I think it's going to grow in lots of ways; probably grow in its population, with more students coming , hopefully the facilities are also going to grow and improve and I think that the way that the girls learn will be far more exciting and engaging and I think all those things are very exciting.
Finally, the last question. You were the house captain of Bally when you were a student right? Now your eldest daughter is the house captain of Lucan. Which house do you prefer?
Oh that's a bit hard, that one. Well, I can't make a decision. Back then obviously Green was the best house and now of course Lucan is the best house!