Melissa Brown – Principal

BA, MEd

I have the joy and privilege of being principal of OCS, serving in my ninth year in this position. I am a passionate advocate for Christian education, and leading in a CEN (Christian Education National) school, where parent partnership is woven into the fabric of our vision and mission, is a true blessing 

I have been working in Christian education for the past 20 years, as a teacher, executive member and now as the PrincipalIt is a dynamic and exciting job, where no two days are ever quite the same, but every day is one where there is opportunity to make a real difference in the life of a child. To watch young people grow and develop in both knowledge and understanding is something wonderful and precious  and educatorsare able to play such a pivotal role in such a life changing process 

It does indeed take a community to raise children, and a community where we work together, pray together and grow together is one I recommend highly. Such is the community here at OCS. My husband and I moved to the Central West in the early 90’s. Here we have raised our three wonderful sons, all of whom have been educated here at OCS. We now are blessed with 2 gorgeous granddaughters, one of who has started here in Prep this year! Yes I am a proud grandparent!! 

Apart from enjoying our great OCS community and continuing studies in education, I love to spend time in my garden, with friends, good food and great coffee!   

Mr Glen Gray – Deputy Principal

DipT, Cert IV in Training and Assessment

At the beginning of 2000, my wife Debbie and I moved from Western Sydney to Orange with our three sons, to enable me to commence my role as Deputy Principal at OCS. Our family has since grown to include three lovely daughters in law and seven delightful grandchildren.

I am passionate about the OCS vision statement as I want to see students engage in the education process, embrace a Christian worldview and develop a personal relationship with Jesus, one that inspires them to make a difference for the sake of God’s Kingdom in all spheres of life.

Having commenced my teaching career over four decades ago, I am still passionate about embracing teachable moments in the lives of students and helping them to grow through their experiences and to understand the importance of interdependence. When this can be accomplished through teaching practical skills, sport or outdoor education, I get a special sense of achievement.

A problem solver by nature, I find many challenges associated with managing the day to day issues that arise at School whether that be juggling the timetable or helping students to make better choices and resolve conflict from a Biblical perspective.

Mrs Catherine Lawrence – Business Manager

BCom (Accounting)

Being part of the Orange Christian School staff since 2011, I am privileged to serve on the School’s management team, currently as the Business Manager. I value being able to contribute to the community that is Orange Christian School; and delight in seeing growth in the School and its ability to deliver quality Christian education to as many students as possible.

Prior to moving to Orange in 2011, I spent 15 years in a variety of accounting, finance and management roles in and around Sydney. I appreciate being able to blend experiences gained in the business and finance industry to serve the OCS community in the area of business management.

My children are students at Orange Christian School, which has afforded me the opportunity to experience and appreciate the parent partnership aspects, which are a distinctive, of the School. It brings me joy to see my children value learning and being part of the School community.

My family and I attend Molong Baptist Church. I play tennis at any given opportunity, love music and enjoy spending time with friends and family.

Peter Cooper – Communication CoordinatorPerforming Arts Coordinator

BEd (Hons)

I have been married to Elaine for over 40 years and we have three grown children and 2 grandsons. We worship at New Life City Church in Orange. I have taught with NSW Department of Education; at private schools in Sydney and Orange and established and taught a 4 year-old Pre-school Program.

After six years at OCTEC as a teacher in their ‘Links To Learning’ program, working with ‘at-risk’ teenagers and teaching Scripture in local schools, I became full time at OCS, in 2002, teaching in the Middle School (Years 7/8). I currently oversee Communications and Performing Arts, teaching Music to all students from Prep (4 year olds) to Year 8, directing primary and secondary musicals and overseeing all performing arts curricular and extra-curricular programs.

My task at OCS is to work with all of our parents to partner in a way which enhances their children’s academic outcomes and also to encourage all students to effectively exercise their God given talents.
My roles have recently seen many initiatives implemented and substantial growth and I look forward to continuing to see the fruit from these two exciting areas at OCS.

Kath Berry – Curriculum Coordinator

DipT, BEd, Cert IV in Training and Assessment

I joined the Orange Christian School teaching staff in 2002. Prior to this I spent time teaching at primary and secondary schools in Bathurst. I love working at OCS and know that this is where God wants me to be. During my years at the school, I have had a variety of roles – overseeing the secondary Science department, Middle School Coordinator, VET coordinator and most recently, Curriculum Coordinator.

It is a privilege to be part of a student’s educational journey – this is my favourite part of the job and ties in strongly with my responsibilities as Careers Advisor. It involves guiding students as they open their future to as many options as possible. To work with a student and their parents through this process is both exciting and rewarding.

Most of my life has been spent in Bathurst and I only moved to Orange very recently. I still travel to worship with Bathurst Baptist Church, sometimes as part of the music team. My daughter, Jordan, recently finished her education at OCS and is studying music in Sydney. In my spare time, I enjoy playing the piano, reading and time with my family.

Mrs Cathy McPhee – Junior School Coordinator

DipTeach

I have been teaching for about 30 years, in schools in Bathurst, Newcastle and Taree, before I came to OCS. I am a strong believer in providing a nurturing environment where children are given the opportunity to thrive by being inspired to achieve their very best, using their God-give talents.

I love the opportunity to guide children in their love of Christ, which is where the OCS Christian Discipleship programs are invaluable.

I am a firm believer that Academic Excellence begins in the Junior School, as that is where the building blocks for education are begun, which is why literacy & numeracy skills are prioritised. I encourage students to learn to be resilient and to have a growth mindset, so they become life long learners.

My three children completed their education at OCS, consequently I am also very aware of the importance of parent partnership, and the impact that can have on enabling friendships between families and our children’s friends. Learning is exciting and very enabling, therefore doing it with friends in a great environment makes it more powerful.

My husband Colin and I live on our farm outside Bathurst and we love catching up with our grandchildren whenever possible.

 

Mr Adrian Lee – Middle School Coordinator

BA DipEd

I have been a teacher for twenty years. I completed my Degree in English and Ancient History at the University of Western Australia, paying my way through uni flipping burgers and then working in retail before I took on the position as Youth Director of Campbelltown Presbyterian Church.

I completed a Diploma of Education in 1998 before heading to Europe to work and travel.

I have worked in government and independent schools in western Sydney, regional NSW and Bristol in the UK, including at OCS in the early 2000s. I have been a Stage 4 Coordinator and Head of Department for HSIE & English before joining OCS as Middle School Coordinator in 2017.

Experience has shown the importance of the middle years to build on the foundations of Junior School and prepare students for the rigours of Senior School and post school opportunities. It is all about giving students the skills they need to fulfil their God-given potential. That is why we talk about Middle School as the ‘booster’ rocket.

Sue & I have two children. We attend Orange Evangelical Church. I am a passionate sports nut, love good coffee and good books.

 

Mr Len Elliott – Senior School Coordinator

BA(hons), Dip.Ed, CELTA

I have enjoyed working with Senior students for around 27 years. One aspect of my work that I especially enjoy is the camaraderie and spirit that develops in each group of students over Years 11 and 12, and the remarkable progress students make within this unique context. It’s a phenomenon that is especially evident at Orange Christian School.

I have worked in various leadership positions in schools, both at home and overseas. These positions included a role as Deputy Principal in Hanoi, Vietnam, setting up the Higher School Certificate as a course of study – the first domestic school outside Australia to attempt this.

My family are all at Orange Christian School: My wife teaches at the School and my children are enrolled. This is one of my great privileges and sources of happiness: walking through the playground and seeing them enjoying their day.
Apart from that, I enjoy being at home with my family, working in the garden or on various home projects.

Jenni da Silva – Registrar – Office Manager

I have been at Orange Christian School for 16 years and have had the wonderful opportunity to work in many areas of the Administration side of the school. Working alongside teaching and non- teaching staff, families and the wider community has given me valuable insights in what is great about OCS.

I have taken my experience in the Corporate world, before starting at the school, to help promote, enhance, create and foster an essential heart and purpose for all I do.
As a parent and staff member at the school I have also seen from within and understood from a family’s perspective the authentic relationships fostered. This has given me a unique opportunity to test and validate our messages of support and love for the students in our care.

My present role includes a focus on student enrolment, attendance, promotional and event management, in addition to managing the administration team. In this role I will continue to harness those corporate management skills I have developed but do it in a way that it is blended with a real and genuine desire to care for all those who cross my path.

Apart from all things OCS, I find great pleasure in my rambling garden; hedging and pruning whenever possible! My novice appreciation of classical music brings me great happiness and I very much love being part of a vibrant local church.