Vicki Jarnis

Inspired and Inspiring educator …
Vicki’s mother planted a seed long ago.  She instilled in her a deep love for learning and teaching.  She has never stopped learning nor refining her teaching.

As a young girl her mother yearned to become an educator but, a victim of the time and place in which she grew up, she was never able to fulfil her dream nor reach her potential.  She was, however, able to inculcate her children with the virtues of education.  Her inspiration became Vicki’s calling.

Where education for life has taken her …
Vicki embarked, decades ago, on an amazing journey as an educator.  This journey saw her immersed in the field of senior secondary teaching and learning. It became an odyssey through which she would determine where she was best able to make a difference.

Classroom Teacher
It began as a classroom teacher where she successfully taught discipline areas including English, Business, History, Foreign Language, and Research Methods and Practice. It traversed many different school settings, private and public, metropolitan and rural, single and mixed gender, R-12 and 8-12.  Each classroom setting was different with its own unique benefits and challenges. This diversity has given Vicki a deep understanding of how subject content is structured, how the surrounding environment influences teaching and learning, as well as how to give all students the best opportunity for success. Irrespective of subject taught, Vicki always had a 95% success rate, with students getting As and Bs.

Over time, Vicki realised she had a calling and became committed to being the best teacher she could be.  She sought ways in which she could motivate, extend, build the confidence of, and develop the skills of students to bring out the best in each and every one . She also sought ways to ensure the promotion of a positive and innovative learning environment, where students were able to reach their full potential, and learning was engaging and challenging. She expected excellence, quality, responsibility and respect. These were givens in her classes.

Faculty Head and Head of Senior School
At the school based level Vicki became a faculty head and head of senior school, providing educational leadership, supervising student teachers, as well as mentoring and coaching to support professional learning of both early career and in career teachers.  She managed all aspects of the transition of students from the Middle School to the Senior School, including course counselling, as well as students’ transition into pathways beyond school.  She worked in partnership with parents on all matters relating to student welfare and supported and advised parents as appropriate.  She built and maintained positive relationships with students, parents and colleagues, emotionally connected with them, and let them know that she was there for them and would never let them fail.

Curriculum Design and Implementation
As she grew as an educator, it seemed a natural progression to move from the classroom into Curriculum Design and Implementation at a system level where she managed the design and delivery of state and national curriculum as well as professional development programs across all school sectors.  As an educational consultant she not only got to see inside countless schools but also to learn a lot about the philosophical thinking which underpinned those disparate schools.  Vicki has been privileged to have worked with highly professional people who knew their craft and who shared a love of students.  Working closely with so many educators, she learned also to have an even deeper appreciation for the profession that so many take for granted.

Steve Jobs once said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”  Early on, Vicki saw the potential for technology to transform education and became an early adopter of computing and communications technologies, exploring how these could be effectively utilised in teaching and learning. Properly used, she could see that technology would help students acquire the skills they needed to survive in a complex, highly technological knowledge-based economy.  She developed a keen interest in computers. This interest would eventually see her leave the teaching profession for a decade to establish an IT company providing online learning consultancy, online marketing solutions, and web design and development for schools, universities, companies, and government.  During this time she worked with educators and companies on how the technology could be effectively integrated both into classroom learning and the workplace in ways that would both deepen and enhance the learning process.

The Next Chapter in Education – SuccessDNA
Across the trajectory of the SuccessDNA founder’s career, she found herself increasingly intrigued by the science and psychology of high achievement and success.  She found herself pondering on  questions including the following:

How do we define academic success?
What role, if any, does inherent talent or intelligence play in high achievement?
Why is it that some students succeed whilst others fail or fail to realise their potential?
Are there any determinants of high achievement and success?
Do high achievers share any commonalities and/or characteristics?
If so, can those be distilled into a model of learning?  And, are they learnable?
How can educators build/create a high achievement culture in their classrooms and in their schools?
How could schools empower parents to be effective supporters and advocates of children’s senior school success?

Her quest for answers, led her to undertake a 12 year long groundbreaking research study of the best and the brightest and their families to discover those critical factors most influential in creating success in senior secondary and post secondary learning.  Research findings show that what students accomplish has more to do with specific beliefs, behaviours and attitudes than on innate ability or intelligence.  These predictors of success are skills which can be taught in incremental steps.  All students can master these skills if they are provided with the necessary tools and disposition for greater success.

Over the last few years, Vicki dedicated her time to developing a model of learning which makes success and high achievement accessible to all senior secondary and post secondary students.

Now after decades of various roles in the educational field, Vicki is giving back and devoting the next chapter of her life to helping: aspirational students who seek to perform at a high level; their parents in how best to support them in their ambitions, and schools in creating a culture of high expectation and success.


Top 5 characteristics of people who work in your field.

  • Success Mindsets
  • Success Habits and Practices
  • Life Long Learners
  • Highly Effective Communicators
  • Tenacity
  • Want to Make A Difference


Top 5 skills relevant to working in your industry. 

  • Teaching & Learning (Senior Secondary, Post Secondary, Adult)
  • Mentoring
  • Professional Development
  • Research Skills
  • Public Speaking
  • Curriculum/Instructional Design, Implementation, Management


What education / experience is necessary for your role?

My role requires a deep understanding and expertise in the following:
Senior Secondary Education and Post Secondary Education
Teaching and Learning
Curriculum Design, Implementation, Management
Instructional Design
E-Learning and Educational Technology
Professional Learning Programs/Teacher Training for school leaders and teachers – Design, Development, Delivery and Evaluation
Public Speaking
Qualitative Research
Educational Consultancy


How can interested readers follow / contact you? E.g. Email, social media, blog.

They will be able to follow SuccessDNA through:

Social Media:  LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube