Mrs Shan Christensen
BA; Honours (History); Dip Ed
Mrs Christensen attended St Clare’s College in the ACT and completed her tertiary studies at the ANU and UNSW. She majored in English, Classics and Modern History with a Minor in Sociology. She has extensive teaching experience in 4 countries and has worked teaching the International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement.
She has extensive knowledge of the external assessment of both History and English and has been involved with the marking of VCE and IB papers. She has also assisted in the writing of the HSC Trial Ancient examination.
Mrs Christensen joined the Huntingtower staff in 2006 and served as Head of English and Director of Curriculum before being appointed as Head of Secondary School in 2017 and Deputy Principal in 2019. Shan served as Acting Principal since Term 3 2023 and commenced as Principal full-time in Term 4 2023.
Mrs Susan Swan
Head of Junior School
Susan has a Masters of Education Degree from Monash University and has worked in education for over 30 years. She has had leadership roles in the State Education System and has worked as a lecturer at Deakin University in the Education Faculty.
Susan is passionate about teaching and learning and has a particular interest in developing effective thinking strategies, a subject on which she has published a book and several articles in educational journals.
She has a strong belief in the potential of teachers to reflect on and research their own practice. Susan is also very interested in developing Aboriginal perspectives in the curriculum.
Ms Melanie Beal
Vice Principal of Secondary School
BA; Dip Ed
Mel is passionate about education, teaching and media literacy and loves being able to help all students develop academic and life skills. Among her many achievements, she is particularly proud of the four times that Huntingtower has been awarded the Best Media School by Bond University. Many of her media students’ work has won both national and international awards.
Mel is also cofounder of The Simunye Project, an organisation which aims to empower young Australians who want to make a difference on a global scale. She is the energetic coordinator of the HT Grads, a subgroup of the alumni. She loves the opportunity this gives her to keep students connected to their school throughout their lives.
In 2019, Mel was appointed Vice Principal (Students and Activities)
Mr Dean Owens
Head of Wellbeing & Learning Enrichment
BSc, GDipEd, MEd
Mr Owens is a dedicated and compassionate teacher who has experience in leadership roles within independent and government schools throughout Australia. He has obtained a Master of Education, focusing on student wellbeing, and holds a specialised Graduate Diploma in Middle Years Education. This has provided Dean with extensive knowledge of frameworks and strategies that address the specific educational, social, emotional, and spiritual needs of students.
Dean strives to create a positive school culture that is inclusive and empowers all members of the school community to become lifelong learners. He strongly believes that education is gained from a multitude of experiences, in and out of the classroom, and adopts a holistic approach to education that focuses on developing all aspects of one’s life.
Mrs Tania Parkyn
Director of Business Operations
Tania Parkyn is the Director of Business Operations and Public Officer for Huntingtower School. She attended Caulfield Grammar School before completing her Bachelor of Accounting degree at RMIT university. Over her career she has worked for various accounting and corporate entities as well as run her own business for over 10 years. Before moving to Huntingtower she was CFO of a large insurance company. Her move to the school initially as Finance Manager was born from a passion for the education system and desire to work for the greater benefit of the children.
Tania is a member of the Association of School Business Administrators (ASBA Vic), an industry body promoting the advancement of education through the provision of professional development to members. Tania is also a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia.