Mark Savery: A Persistent Leader with an Empowering Vision
Mark Savery| business Leader

The words ‘inspire’ and ‘motivate’ are often used interchangeably. Though conceptually these words seem similar, they are worlds apart. The word ‘inspire’ took its origin from ‘in spirit’ which means ‘inspiration from within.’ Similarly, the root word of ‘motivate’ is ‘motive’. Thus, the meaning of motivate is actually; an external force that causes someone to take action.

We can say that motivation pushes one to accomplish a particular task, or work through a difficult event, even when they would rather not be doing it; motivation helps them to get the desired result.

However, inspiration pulls one towards something that stirs their mind, spirit, or heart. When one is filled with inspiration, they often do not think about the end result, rather the feeling of purpose and meaning is enough for them to propel towards their ambitions. Mark Savery, the Headof eLearning at Emmanuel College is an influential educational leader who attributes his growth to this belief.

Mr. Savery’s journey was shaped by the inspiration he received from those around him. He recalls his journey saying, “I owe my gratitude to working at Emmanuel to Peter Fernance, the Head of Performing Arts when I was first employed, and Graham Leo who was the Principal at Emmanuel College at that time – they both extended an opportunity and inspired and guided me in those earlier years of my career.”

Through their encouragement, feeling a sense of belonging in a workplace (not just working for an institution) and having people that believed in me – seeing potential beyond what I myself could see – encouraged me to strive for excellence in my career.” Coming a long way from finding inspiration from those around him even today, Mr. Savery has not only grown to become an educator, but also an influencer.

This is Mr. Savery’s story in his own words.

A Journey of Prominence

“Funnily enough, I never formally applied for a job at Emmanuel! Growing up, I struggled at school – I struggled with bullying, I struggled being a musician in a school that was very sport-driven at the time. Many of my memories of school were not positive ones. However, I did have some inspiring teachers and great friends who encouraged me through the challenges. It was not until mid-way through my 12th year when I finally came to a place of knowing what I wanted to do beyond school. And to be honest, a career in education was not my intention.”

“On completing Senior School, I enrolled in a music degree with the desire to be a musician. While doing some casual music tutoring and performing for church, weddings and functions, the Head of Performing Arts of Emmanuel College at the time, invited me to an interview with the Principal to do some music tutoring. This impromptu meeting really started my career as an educator.”

“While working at Emmanuel as a music tutor, I returned to university to complete a post-graduate Bachelor of Education, with a view to become a classroom music teacher. During this study, I fell in love with teaching in the primary classroom and my exciting education career really took off!”

An Influencing Educator

“I have always had a creative mind and a desire to push the boundaries – to explore and think outside the box to find a solution. As a child I have fond memories of pulling broken things apart with my Grandad only to see if we could fix them and put them back together again.”

“On many occasions, things did not quite work the same as they should, and some things remained broken, but there were also many successes. The process of not always knowing what you’re doing, but giving it a go, trying things from different perspectives, and adding a little creativity along the way really established a great mindset that has become invaluable as an educator.”

“Today, I love my job! Having taught at Emmanuel for over 16 years I feel more passionate than ever about being an educator. I have worked across a variety of roles and experienced some fantastic achievements throughout my career.”

“These have included speaking at conferences and on webinars locally, nationally and internationally. I have been recognized on the Educator Magazine’s Hot List for three consecutive years – for being an influential figure in the K-12 education space – and have developed connections with other educators, businesses, education leaders and specialists across the world.”

Knowing More About Emmanuel College

A learner-centric environment, a growth-mindset, and ever-evolving leader, Emmanuel College has earned a reputation as a high-quality and in-demand educational institution.While these factors have certainly contributed to the school’s growth and popularity, we wanted to know what sets Emmanuel College apart.

On this, Mr. Savery says, “EmmanuelCollege is a K-12 co-educational, multi-denominational school of 1,600 students. Over many years we have developed a reputation for our leadership in the areas of educational technology and innovation, with Emmanuel College being recognized in 2019 as one of only eight Microsoft Showcase Schools in Australia.”

At Emmanuel, our mission in the technology and ICT support area states that our technological ecosystem must “serve to enrich the learning experience for all.” It is this core value which drives adoption of technology and its integration into our curriculum.

We make the learning environment more vibrant through having a focus not on consumption of content through technology, but by using technology to unlock students’ curiosity, creativity and potential through the development of their own content.”

“This has been particularly evident through our continued work with Augmented and Virtual Reality to enhance student engagement. The 3D models and 360 video work samples created by Emmanuel students have been seen around the world via the ClassVR Community, and lesson plans based on Emmanuel College’s innovations have been included in the ClassVR Best Practice Book distributed through the UK. The College has recorded multiple video case-studies for Class-VR that have helped schools across the world.”

Serving a Greater Purpose

Bringing organisational change and changing lives is not the only characteristic feature that sets versatile leaders like Mr. Savery apart from others. While transforming lives and organizations, Mr. Savery addresses and advocates for change to be brought in the society or education system as a whole.

“For the past 5 years I have been involved with Microsoft as an Innovate Expert Educator and this past year had the pleasure of joining them as only 1 of 5 Australian Microsoft Fellows. This exclusive program runs yearly and gives opportunity for passionate educators to connect with a global, professional learning community who are constantly pushing the boundaries of what a classroom looks and feels like.”

“Being involved with the Microsoft Innovative Expert Educator program has provided me wonderful opportunities to collaborate, create and share experiences on integrating technology with pedagogy to further advance learning, achieve student outcomes and transform education.

This has been not only beneficial to myself in my professional growth as an educator, but also for Emmanuel College as it has given us an exposure to cutting-edge technologies and connection to leading educationalists around the world who are similarly inspired by Microsoft’s mission to ‘empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more.’”

Drawing Inspiration from Others

We can conclude that persistence is one of the traits that can lead one to success and Mr. Savery is an embodiment of persistence. No matter the challenges that came along the way, he tried harder and his persistence fueled him to creatively make great accomplishments possible. Here arises a question of what motivates him to be persistent and achieve the desired goal.

He says, “For many students and teachers alike, having just one champion to cheer you on can be all that is needed to set someone on a path to success. This continues to motivate me as a teacher now – to look for and recognize the students that may be struggling, with a desire to see them feel that same sense of belonging and achievement. Including those students might be a little ‘outside the box’ and encouraging their creativity and imagination. I strive to create an innovative and technology-rich environment that aims to meet the needs of each individual learner.”

“I feel blessed now to work with a very forward-thinking, inspiring Director of IT, Dan Pearson, who continues to encourage, mentor and work collaboratively with me to pursue excellence in the application of using technology to enrich the learning process. Led by the current Principal, Patrick Innes-Hill, Emmanuel College continues to thrive, and I am continually given opportunities in my role to grow, stretch and seek excellence in my role as an educator.”

“I love being an educator and it has certainly been a rewarding career. I am passionate about technology in education as having the right tools can foster personalized, inclusive, and immersive learning experiences. These create opportunities for students to develop emotional and cognitive skills, in conjunction with academic learning, in and beyond the classroom.”

From one Leader to Another

“Smooth sea never makes skilful sailors”

Mr. Savery is a believer of the aforesaid adage and his progression as a leader is an ideal example of it. He says challenges have always been a part of his journey, however, his drive for excellence, patience, and passion helped him achieve greatness. His advice to aspiring educators, leaders, or influencers is the same too; never give up.

He also says, “For people who are early on in their teaching career, I would recommend aligning yourself with similar-minded people. There are some fantastic educators programs that you can be involved in alongside your workplace that will help you refine your craft as an educator, inspire you through your journey and develop life-long friendships that will carry over your career.”


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