Andy Sexton is a school counsellor at Sylvania PS, Sylvania Heights PS, and Endeavour Sports HS. In the 15 years since commencing as a school counsellor Andy Sexton has worked in more than 50 DoE schools ranging from rural one-teacher schools to large selective high-schools. For most of that time he has been fortunate to work in at least one Special Education unit and these have included SSPs for ED/BD students as well as for intellectual disabilities and autism. Andy’s favourite special education students to work with are so called behaviour disordered students since the stakes are so high and success so rare that when a success is made it is all the more sweet. The most important thing he has learned about special education is that these children are, as with all of us, social beings who crave the same peer acceptance as non-disabled kids. It is easy to forget this when we are trying so hard to help them cope with their disability.
Before becoming a teacher and several years after completing his agricultural science degree having spent it working in relative isolation, as a crop manager on two remote properties in South West Queensland Andy Sexton began craving the company of more people, and so returned to university to complete his Dip Ed. Andy spent 8 great years teaching high school science in the Granville area of Sydney before joining his wife, an NGO, in East Timor for two years, in conjunction with their Timorese partners. They helped thousands of householders with re-roofing and re-building their homes following the razing of the country by rebel forces in response to the Timorese vote for independence from Indonesia. While there he also worked as a builder and adult educator. Back in Australia he undertook full-time study in psychology, in order to transition from teaching into school counselling. Upon completing his studies Andy was accepted into the Department's school counsellor retraining program and began working as a counsellor in Griffith, western NSW