Our People

Ascham attracts and retains high quality people, experts in their fields who are dedicated to supporting girls in their academic and wider endeavours. The Dalton Plan fosters rewarding and strong relationships between teacher and student, and every member of staff has a positive and proactive approach to their work and a willingness to participate in School life.

I believe passionately in the education of young women and
I have the great pleasure of seeing our staff and students alike truly epitomise our motto, vi et animo—with heart and soul—in their teaching and development.

Head of School

Mr Andrew Powell

Andrew is firmly committed to girls’ education and the Dalton Plan. His focus as an educational leader is on developing students as independent learners and as individuals, whilst enhancing teacher excellence.

Andrew joined Ascham School in 1992, teaching Junior Science and Chemistry in the Senior School. He became Deputy Head of Science in 1995 and was made a member of the Senior Management team in 2004. Andrew was appointed Deputy Head of School in 2012 and in January 2014 he was appointed Head of School.

In his leadership roles at Ascham, Andrew has played a pivotal role in the development of the strategic plan for the School. He has developed and led the wellbeing program for Senior School students including easing the transition from Year 6 into Senior School, the development of the Cyber Safety Committee, and the initiation of welfare programs for Year groups, such as ‘positive psychology’ and ‘managing anxiety’. He has also made significant contributions to the leadership development and peer mentoring programs.

Andrew has a Bachelor of Applied Science from the University of Technology, Sydney, a Diploma of Education from the University of Sydney and a Master of Administrative Leadership from the University of New England.

Deputy Head of School

Mrs Pascale Drever

Pascale has a primary focus on student wellbeing, helping girls develop girls into strong and confident young women. She champions well-researched and age-appropriate student wellbeing programs that enhance personal growth and leadership skills, and foster effective teaching and learning.

Pascale joined Ascham in 2014 in her current role, having established a respected career of more than 25 years in girls’ education. She brings experience from her previous role as Head of Middle School at Ravenswood School for Girls.

Pascale believes firmly in the School, parents and their daughters working together for the benefit of the student. She works very closely with the Year Coordinators and School Psychologists to ensure the girls’ wellbeing is nurtured at all times. Together with Head of School Andrew Powell, Pascale works closely with the School’s student leaders—known as the School Committee—helping the girls develop skills in leadership and communication. She leads Ascham’s Awards Committee, which ensures that students are recognised for their achievements.

Pascale holds an MSc (Education) from Macquarie University, and certification from the University of Witwatersrand including an HDipEd, Secondary Education and Teaching, and a BSc in Biology, Physics and Chemistry.

Head of Junior School

Mrs Judi Butcher

Judi’s purpose lies in providing the best possible education for girls, using a combination of evidence-based research of educational programs and best practice to align with the key principles of The Dalton Plan. To that end, Judi focuses on providing an engaging and supportive learning environment where girls can feel happy, confident, secure and valued.

Judi started as a Year 1 Hillingdon classroom teacher in 1997. In mid-1998, she was appointed Head of the Preparatory School, tasked with overseeing all aspects of the Prep to Year 2 program. In August 2013, Judi was appointed to Head of Junior School, combining Hillingdon and Fiona and overseeing the integration of these two schools.

In this central role, Judi has planned and implemented several critical activities including building a formal transition program for Hillingdon to Fiona and introducing the STEAM program. She has also been involved in increasing the use of the Dalton Plan and the Student Wellbeing programs, and has increased Debating, Public Speaking, da Vinci Decathlon and RoboCup Competitions within the Junior School.

Judi holds a BEd (Primary) from the University of Sydney, is a member of the Australian College of Education and a Certified Instructor in The Spalding Method.

Judi is also the IPSHA NSW Immediate Past President, having served as IPSHA NSW President from 2014-2016 and IPSHA NSW President-Elect from 2012-2014, and currently holds the IPSHA Federal Secretary position.
Rounding out her professional accreditations, Judi chairs the Professional Development Committee, overseeing Professional Development for Staff Days and Professional Development for all Teaching and Corporate Services staff.

Head of Boarding

Mrs Allysia Heness-Pugh

We are delighted to welcome Allysia as our new Head of Boarding from 2021. Allysia has 16 years’ experience in this field and her vision of boarding is that of authenticity and connectedness. She brings to the role a strong focus on pastoral care and wellbeing, partnering with parents and the School community to deliver positive residential experiences for young women who live away from home. Allysia believes a successful boarding environment must centre on building meaningful relationships—a place where students should be nurtured by engaged staff to thrive academically, socially and emotionally.

Allysia grew up in the Central West of NSW and has a passionate connection to rural Australia. She believes that boarders from regional areas bring unique qualities to schools in metropolitan areas, such as Ascham. As a former boarder, Allysia has special insight into the life of boarding students. She was fortunate enough to experience a dual lifestyle, growing up on an Angora goat stud and also boarding at All Saints College, Bathurst. Allysia says boarding instilled independence, resilience and self-motivation in her and these values equipped her to be resourceful and creative in adulthood.

Allysia is strongly committed to service learning, establishing the first boarding school partnership with Guide Dogs NSW/ACT to raise a guide dog puppy in an educational institution. She is very much looking forward to continuing that partnership with the staff and students of Ascham.

Ascham School