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Teacher Tuesday: Andy Cowan

 This term we will farewell a longstanding member of staff, Mr Andy Cowan. After 35 years of outstanding service, Mr Cowan is retiring from teaching at Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School.

In 1988, Mr Cowan and his wife Mrs Cherry Cowan moved to Australia from Zimbabwe to work at Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School. Mr Cowan had been teaching for nine years before being connected with Tony Brooker who was the Headmaster of School at the time, “I stopped off in Perth on the way, borrowed a car, drove down to Bunbury, had an interview and got the job,” said Mr Cowan. Due to delays in his Australian citizenship, Mr Cowan arrived three months later than planned, “Mr Chris Gibbs told me that people who came late to the School did not last very long. Now, 35 years later, Mr Gibbs, you were wrong on that one,” declared Mr Cowan humorously.

Initially employed as a science and physics teacher, Mr Cowan has enjoyed a variety of roles over the years including Head of Boarding, or Housemaster, as it was known in 1994, Deputy Headmaster (Pastoral Care) from 1995 and then Head of Secondary from 2009 to 2015. A keen hockey player, Mr Cowan has coached hockey at the School since 1988. Mr Cowan had a significant impact on the development the Year 7 Centre and the House System. He has worked with five Headmasters, four Chaplains and five Heads of Primary, “When people ask me, ‘how have you stayed in one job for so long?,’ I tell them that I have been very lucky… I was in the right place at the right time, so I have always had different things to do. It is the kids that keep me here,” said Mr Cowan.

Mr Cowan credits the community and wellbeing at the School as the main reasons for his long service, saying,

“I am a convert for the School. I have taught at many other schools but for me, this (School) was very much a community, when I first came. Really, a strong community.” He continued, “I feel quite strongly that the School has something, I call it ‘something special’ but do not know what it is, but it works on kids, and it works on staff.”

Mr Cowan reflects on his main highlight from his time at the School.

“My work with students, both those in a bit of trouble, or those in the classroom, which I hope has had the biggest impact. I love teaching the Senior School Physics courses, realising that an educated person needs to have a good grasp of the Sciences in the modern world. I hope I have sparked an interest in them that may last them a lifetime.”

Mr Cowan has been a Hockey Coach for many years of his employment at the School. His love for coaching has shone through and been dear to many students. Earlier in 2022, Year 7 and 8 hockey students provided Mr Cowan with a guard of honour as a thank you for his devotion to the Grammar Hockey Community.

Generations of students have benefitted from his excellent teaching, pastoral care and leadership. In his retirement, Mr Cowan looks forward to caravanning, travelling with his wife and working on their house. The School wish him all the best in his retirement and future endeavours.


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