Staff in the Spotlight: Grant Gallacher

July 10, 2020

At HSDC we have a number of highly-skilled, dedicated and passionate staff.

They go above and beyond to help our students reach their full potential. We want to shout about these integral members of our HSDC community, so every month we will be finding out about the people behind our teaching excellence with our ‘Staff in the Spotlight’ feature.

This month we are recognising Grant Gallacher, who is a Lecturer and Course Manager for BTEC Level 2 Uniformed Public Services at HSDC Alton.

How long have you worked at the College?

I joined HSDC Alton in February 2019. I have worked for several colleges before joining HSDC and I can honestly say it stands far above the rest. It’s such a caring and friendly atmosphere, I love it here! I get the sense that staff at HSDC really look out for their own.

Why did you choose the subject that you teach?

My original career was in Outdoor Education, Leadership and Team Development. I have a real passion for working with people, especially in remote and wild environments, it’s where I feel most content. The BTEC Uniformed Public Services courses have lots of units in this field where I can help to pass on my skills, knowledge and experience.

What was your journey/training before coming to HSDC?

Originally, I ran a water sports centre in Canada during the summer months. In the winter seasons, I was heavily involved in snow sports performance coaching where I was lucky enough to train and coach instructors in the States and Europe. I really enjoyed working with the different snow sports professionals, helping them develop not only their personal technique but also their coaching craft too.  It was between seasons where I was offered a teaching position in FE. I took a break from teaching when I was offered a job in Australia in the oil industry in 2013. Offshore, I was part of the fire and rescue team, deck crew and was training in Health and Safety for oil and gas. In 2016 I returned to teaching in the UK.

Do you practice the subject you teach outside of work?

My superstar wife Suzi and I snowboard whenever we can. When we’re not then we’re out mountain biking as often as possible.

What is the highlight of your role at HSDC?

I recently qualified as a Google Trainer and am starting my journey to become a Google Certified Coach. It’s been incredible to get to work with and support other teachers during the pandemic and seeing the interest grow around the G Suite for Education at the Alton Campus. In September I’ll be starting my MBA in Strategic Leadership through HSDC’s staff development programme.

What kind of careers have your students gone on to do?

Our students go onto lots of different careers because our course is so broad. We have students who go off into the uniformed services, the sports and leisure sector as well as working within the justice system.

What is something about your job that people don’t know?

I have massive OCD when it comes to designing my resources and can agonise for ages over the perfect placement of a graphic, for example! I’m super geeky when it comes to EdTech.

What three words would your students use to describe you?

Yikes, that’s a tough one, hopefully, they’d say I’m fair, approachable and positive. I suppose it would depend on the grades they are getting though!

How do you relax outside of work?

Outside of work, I’m a horrible blues guitar player but I love it!