Will you go for the Storm? An interview with the Dr.

As the end of the school year nears, it often brings many goodbyes. We say goodbye to our teachers who have suffered our presence for a whole year, friends, and amazing assessments. This year we will also be saying goodbye to our beloved Headmaster.

We got the opportunity to sit down with the one and only Dr Scott Marsh, the Headmaster of Willy C for the past 5 years (and teaching for 14) as he was packing his bags for the ‘worst weather in Australia’, that is of course Melbourne.


To start things off, we asked Dr Marsh questions about his time at William Clarke:

What has been the best part of being the headmaster at William Clarke?

 Ohh, I think it’s been, you know, working with a team. To further ensure that William Clarke is set up for the future. To establishing strong enrolments and a school that people want to come to. And it’s not just me, it’s definitely the staff and the executive teams working together to set William Clarke up as a really popular school that people want to go to.

Do you have any shoutouts or maybe teachers who work behind the scenes that you’ve found that they’ve been working really hard for all of us?

Yes, Mrs Stillen is the best. She’s amazing. She is someone who doesn’t like attention on her, but she does so much and she’s done the amazing job stepping in while I’ve been on leave. She would be the one that I’d automatically think of, but there’s so many good people behind the scenes who make William Clarke a special place. It is lots of teachers and support staff. Lots of people.

Well on the contrary, what has been the worst part of being the headmaster?

It’s always hard when you have to ask a student to leave. It’s hard because I don’t like giving up on students, yet sometimes it’s just the best thing for them to get a fresh start somewhere else. So, once I think we’re in that position, that’s when I make that decision.

What about your biggest victory? What is something you’re most proud of that you’ve achieved at William Clarke?

I think the Branwhite building – it was something that said William Clarke is an exceptional school. As well, the new curriculum. For that, the school got mentioned in the national paper as an innovative one. William Clarke becoming a school that is known beyond Kellyville, I think that was exciting.

We talked about your proudest moment. What was something that you thought might have worked well for the school yet didn’t go your way?

Everything’s been going well. COVID really put us back a year in time for our new curriculum. I would have liked to have more time to make sure that’s going well and achieving what we wanted it to. I think also the outdoor education program, I think we need to give more attention to that. I think that’s probably not achieving as much as it could at the moment.

A question asked by a large group of students is: what happened to Dr Marsh and the Swamp People?

Yeah well, Mr Doherty didn’t like one of our songs, so we took great offense to that. We’re still waiting to hear back on the court case with the music union and Mr Doherty.

I think the worst thing that happened was probably just COVID. We couldn’t do anything for pretty much two years, so I think the swamp people got stuck in the swamp and are still recovering from Mr Doherty not liking one of our songs.

(For the many who have no clue what Dr Marsh and the Swamp People are, James H the other Assistant Editor-in-Chief has quoted it as ‘bangin’)

Will you be taking the Swamp people to Scotch?

Oh no it has to be something else. The swamp people are special –  for William Clarke.

Mr Koch is replacing you next year. What advice would you give him for next year?

Schools are all about people. We need to make sure people are cared for and supported. That relationships are strong. He needs to get out and get known by the students, by the parents and by the staff.  

What about the William Clarke College students as they embrace this big change in their schooling lives?

 Life is about change. They’ve just gotta keep putting one step in front of the other. Nothing great in life comes easy. Getting used to new people and maybe different ways of doing things in the future is not easy but that’s life. It’s an opportunity to develop resilience and it’s an opportunity to actually keep putting one foot in front of the other and then in six month’s time, realising “ohh, I’m ok, I’m still doing fine.” You learn that if you keep going, you realise you can do it. I think it’s about having a positive attitude and making Mr Koch feel very welcome.

If you don’t mind me asking, what was the thought process on you moving? Was there any steps towards it, any plans towards it at all?

No, I wasn’t looking for a job at all. As I said, cause of COVID, I probably wanted to do a couple more years. But the school, Scotch, they were interested in me, so I thought I’d better explore it. It’s certainly an amazing school and because I’ve been at William Clarke for 14 ½ years, so I thought, well, they’re not gonna want me forever. I thought that maybe it’s time to have a look somewhere else and so the timing was, you know, pretty good. I think the hardest thing is my family. It’s always hard for, you know, your children, your wife. And so, I think the hardest thing has been just supporting my family.

What about your thoughts on moving to Melbourne?

Well, I never thought I’d live in Melbourne. I love the beach. I love ocean swimming and it’s probably a bit cold down there for me. I’ve spent time down there. It’s actually a very cool city, great restaurants and nightlife and it’s quite easy to access from where I’ll be living. So I think I’ll enjoy it and it’s just an opportunity to have an adventure, to take a risk, to explore another part of Australia that I probably wouldn’t have the opportunity to explore. Maybe that’s a bit of a lesson too, that we need to be flexible and adaptable and if it’s a good opportunity. I’m a bit of a risk taker and I don’t mind having a go and seeing what happens. Even if it doesn’t work. I’ll still learn something.

Melbourne is a very AFL centred city and you support the Parramatta Eels in the NRL, what are your thoughts on the change of sport in a different city?

Well, I will still support the Eels as I am a loyalist. I go for Parramatta because I grew up in the Parramatta area, in Melbourne I’m living in Hawthorn so I’m gonna support Hawthorn. I actually had the chairman of the Hawks contact me last week. Jeff Kennett, who used to be Premier of Victoria and he’s a Scotch Old Boy (alumni). So he congratulate me cause he’d heard I was gonna go for Hawthrown.

But I don’t know the rules. All I know is that they kick it through the centre for six and the sides for one. That’s about it I’ve got a lot to learn. But the other thing I like about Melbourne is they love their sport and there’s a strong culture of getting involved. They would get 80 000 people to the MCG to watch a game. I think that it could be fun to go along every so often.

So I guess the question is, you will not be band wagoning to the Melbourne Storm at all?

I won’t be supporting the Melbourne Storm, no. I will always stay with my eels and the Hawthorne for AFL.

As you move to Scotch in Melbourne, ae there any things you’ve learned from William Clarke that you think are gonna be valuable to bring?

Yes, lots. Just the changes we’ve made. How to do change and how to support people throughout the process. Leadership of change would be something that I’ve learned a lot at William Clarke and I’ve learned a lot from the executive team and working with them. They’re all very talented in their areas, so working with them I’ve learnt lots. Probably the big area is managing change.

Another big question that a lot of students are asking is whether you are going to take some of the changes you made such as three period days or the exploration courses to Scotch at all?

I think what I will do is understand what’s good for Scotch and then go from there. I think as headmaster, it’s important to know what is good for that community and what they can cope with and what will help support them thrive. So I wouldn’t necessarily just say this is what we’re doing at Scotch, because it seemed ok at William Clarke. I think it’s better to understand what is good for that community and then tailor something for that community

Would you ever consider doing Urinetown at Scotch?

That is an excellent question. I’d consider anything. I’m a bit of a risk taker so whatever I could cultivate the Scotch community, who knows. But yes, I’d consider all things.

Are you going to play trumpet at Scotch?

I will if there’s the opportunity, they have a very good orchestra, so I’m hoping to conduct the orchestra.

What drove you to become a teacher in the first place?

I was happy playing trumpet and getting some professional work doing that and then I had this opportunity to teach, so I did it to get a bit of money behind me and I loved it. I’ve always loved music but it was more about performing rather than teaching. When I had this opportunity to teach and I did it for a year, I actually loved it, and I loved working with young people and I find them fun and funny and talented and I like working with them. I love being with people. So being in a school, it’s a nice community and that’s what I’ve enjoyed about William Clarke. It’s a nice, lovely community. I love working with the teachers. They’re a fun bunch and I think we’ve done some good things together.

If you were not working in the teaching industry at all, what would you be doing right now?

I’m working in a Bunnings site so I can get on a Bunnings Ad. That’s my lifelong goal. To get on a Bunnings ad. I want to be one of those people that you know, got the Bunnings bib on and you say “yeah we’ll beat it by 10%” that’s what I wanna do.

Well thank you for your time today Dr Marsh

Absolute pleasure. Thank you for the interview. I’ve enjoyed it. It’s nice to see your faces again. I’ve missed all the students. That’s the hardest thing about having this leave. I’ve missed everyone and I look forward to seeing you all at Presentation Day.

Are you excited for Presentation Day?

I am. It will be nice to see everyone. Then I’ve got a staff picnic the next day where I get to say a good proper goodbye to all the teachers.


WE ARE would like to thank Dr Marsh for his service to the College in the last 14 years. In particularly, the risk he took in allowing students to take control of a public facing media site that represents the College.