He has also been named a WA Beginning Teacher of the Year finalist in the 2015 WA Education Awards.
Beginning his teaching career in February 2014, Mr Salinas brought with him his skills and experiences as a professional athlete – having playedmore than 320 State Basketball League games for the Wanneroo Wolves.
In what he describes as his “dream job,” Mr Salinas said combining his love of sport and teaching was ideal.
“I love the fact that I have the ability to improve students' health and wellbeing by keeping them physically active through sport and outdoor activities,” he said.
“Physical education also develops students' interpersonal and self-management skills, which helps them with life after school.”
Mr Salinas said the skills he gained through his sporting background - like team work, communication and leadership - greatly benefited students.
“These attributes have helped me to build nurturing relationships with my students which give them a sense of belonging in a positive learning environment.”
Principal Melesha Sands said Mr Salina’s professional connections in basketball have enhanced student learning.
“Sebastian has organised guest speakers, industry opportunities and access to expert coaching,” she said.
“He recently organised a visit by players from the Red Dust Heelers, a wheelchair basketball team, who introduced students to the sport and involved them in learning to control and play in wheelchairs.
“More powerful than the sport were the stories the participants shared with students on how poor decision making resulted in some serious and lifelong consequences.
“There wasn’t a dry eye in the gym that day.”
Mr Salinas has developed pathways and courses in Years 7 to 12 in the Physical Education curriculum, including developing and delivering of two certificate courses (sport and recreation and sports coaching), general courses in outdoor education. He has also refineed lower school courses in preparation for implementation of the Western Australian Curriculum.