SCEA Staff and parents who drive into the picturesque surrounds of Mundaring Christian College’s Secondary Campus in Parkerville are greeted by a rolling green valley, dense bushland and purpose-built buildings and facilities.
The unique part of this educational landscape lies no more than 300 metres from the school classrooms: mountain bike trails.
Snaking through the bushland and meandering past kookaburras and the local wildlife are the gravelly paths that all mountain bikers relish.
So, how has Mundaring developed such an awesome offering?
Two words: Levi Rosolin.
The cheeky Health & Physical Education Teacher (also the Coordinator of Bushranger Cadets & the Mountain Bike program) has fashioned a “sweet little gig” for himself up at Mundaring. But that wasn’t always the plan.
The SCEA alumni has been down a few different paths of his own since graduating from Swan Christian College more than ten years ago.
“I left school and did a gap year in the army because the last thing I wanted to do was study! The army was the craziest thing I could think to do!”
This blonde hulk looks like he has won a few push-up contests in his time.
“I did not want to come back to school and didn’t want to be a teacher,” he says with a chuckle.
After doing a year of Sports Science at Edith Cowan University, Levi found a role at the Glengarry campus of The Scots College in New South Wales where he saw the benefits of Outdoor Education. Far from the conventional classroom, students derived a great deal of joy from the open landscapes and the surrounds of nature.
He saw a meaningful side to education. The cogs started turning.
It was only a slow turn, though.
Levi returned to Perth and after praying that God would provide confirmation for him, the answer came from an unlikely source: a conversation with a friend’s mother.
“I don’t know what you’re up to next year, but I reckon you should look at Outdoor Ed teaching,” she said.
The return to university (Edith Cowan) and a switch to Education locked in Levi’s future and he has never looked back.
Mundaring Christian College is every outdoor enthusiast’s dream, and everything is perfect, right?
“Well, the Principal – just love the man! Mundaring has great leadership. Dave [Elsing] and Rod [McNeil] are great to work for. Always willing to support people who are teaching things they are passionate about.”
“I also love the bush. Mundaring’s Parky campus is over 100 acres, which is slowly turning into a mountain bike park [he laughs] and I love the down-to-earth hills people.”
So Levi has definitely found his calling in teaching today’s youth in the great outdoors. But where does faith fit into all of this?
Levi’s Christian journey was actually influenced years ago by David Elsing (Mundaring’s Head of Campus) and continues to be shaped by his work as a Christian teacher today.
“Dave Elsing was my youth group leader and he baptised me at Eastern Districts Alliance Church in the Swan Valley. Through people like Dave in my life, and a number of other Swan Christian College friends, I was challenged to take Christianity seriously.”
“It was in Year 8 I prayed ‘The Sinner’s Prayer’ with Dave at youth group.”
So it would seem that SCEA runs in Levi’s blood.
To top it off, he even managed to marry the daughter of a former SCEA Board Chair! Surely there are many more happy years of SCEA teaching ahead for the Mundaring’s Master of Mountain Bikes!