'Local Legend' an all rounder

THERE'S a lot of things you might not know about this month's "Local Legend" Tammy Schinckel.

Tammy Schinckel is the Herald's "Local Legend" for April, nominated for her work with the Independent Learning Centre, youth and other community groups.

Tammy Schinckel is the Herald's "Local Legend" for April, nominated for her work with the Independent Learning Centre, youth and other community groups.

Although well recognised as a teacher and for her role as the Independent Learning Centre's campus manager, her resume is full to the brim with numerous other qualifications and certificates.

"Every two years I try to do a new degree of some sort for my own personal development," she told the Herald.

"Last year I completed a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery so now I'm a qualified chef. 

"That's what I always wanted to do and I've ticked that off the bucket list now."

She is also a trained youth worker, aerobics instructor, has studied tourism and has a certificate in retail management, among other things.

Tammy grew up in Pinnaroo before moving to Adelaide to study a Bachelor of Education in Family and Community Studies at teachers' college after high school.

In 1991 she was offered a permanent position at Naracoorte High School which she accepted to teach home economics.

Over the years she made her way through teaching almost all subjects, except for science and mathematics, before taking on the role at the ILC about two-and-a-half-years ago.

While teaching is what she is passionate about now, she only decided to pursue the career after a bad stint of work experience with a chef in the Barossa Valley.

"I thought there was no way I am a strong enough person to put up with this for four years in an apprenticeship," she said.

"I do think to some degree I was born to be a teacher and to also work with food and to be able to share those skills with people.

"That's why I went into home economics."

Tammy is highly enthusiastic about her work with the ILC and its evolution over the years.

"I'm really into student voice, flexible options and involvement in the community," she said.

"Making education fit the individual rather than individuals fitting into education.

"I'm really proud of the way that I believe we've been able to change the public perception of the ILC and get it to be a highly regarded educational facility.

"I'm really proud of that perception change in the community and in the students."

The ILC offers flexible options for students who might not fit the generic school mould.

Tammy writes up unique subjects to meet SA Certificate of Education requirements and the campus provides a place for people to finish Year 11 and 12 while starting full-time apprenticeships.

The ILC is regarded as one of the best of its kind in the southern region and its program is used as a model for other institutions.

"I'm really proud of all the people who, for some reason or another, they haven't fitted into mainstream school and have taken that leap of faith to finish their study," Tammy said.

"People choosing to complete their SACE when, at some point in their lives, they might have given up.

"That's where I get my inspiration from, the students that come here."

As well as her working life and continuous study pursuits, Tammy somehow finds the time to be involved with a number of groups and organisations.

She has been on the junior squad basketball committee for the last five years, is a friend of Rotary after finding her schedule was just too busy to be an active member, is a member of the Naracoorte female food and wine group Les Femme and is a basketball coach.

She is also the Upper SE representative on the Innovative Communications Action Network which deals with disengaged and disadvantaged youth, is on the Vocational Education and Training regional committee and used to be involved in teaching an adult coooking class.

On top of all that she has a husband Chris and three boys aged 17, 14 and six.

If she ever has a moment to just relax, Tammy enjoys ready reading trashy novels and autobiographies, cooking and playing basketball.

When the Herald asked what's next on her agenda, she replied: "There's always things to achieve.

"I would like to see the continued growing of the ILC and integrate it further into the community.

"That's my professional goal and my personal goal would be to spend more time with my family.

"That's probably a bit contradictory though because they kind of counteract the other," she laughed.

Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide