Sharnie Paterson said she definitely would have dropped out of secondary school if she had not come to Traralgon’s Sports Education and Development Australia.
“I couldn’t handle sitting down in the classroom and reading all the books,” Sharnie said.
“I was getting Cs and Ds; SEDA is more directed to the career I want.”
Two years later and Sharnie has achieved high distinctions and was currently the top student in her course, the diploma of football.
Although Sharnie had enrolled in the Australian Football League stream, she admitted to “knowing nothing” about AFL.
“I couldn’t even tell you who Chris Judd is,” she said.
“But it doesn’t matter; you do the same work in all the streams and there are about the same number of girls and guys in my class.”
According to Sharnie, the best thing about SEDA was the “hands on” learning style.
“You can work by yourself or in your groups,” she said.
“We teach each other rather than the teacher talking at us.”
Sharnie also appreciated how skilled her teachers were at working out each student’s learning style and adapting their teaching accordingly.
When Sharnie finishes studying at SEDA at the end of the year, she will graduate with diplomas in event management and sports and recreation and a certificate three in fitness.
She will also gain a diploma in deep tissue massage, a course she had enrolled in online and was completing in her spare time.
“None of my teachers at my old school would believe it if they saw me now,” she said.