Queensland’s top teachers named

 

QUEENSLAND'S most exceptional teachers have been recognised for their standout work in this year's Queensland College of Teachers TEACHX Awards.

From utilising surf training and YouTube language lessons, to mindfulness and therapy dogs, 30 teachers from across the state have been highlighted for the profound impact they are making on their school communities, and to the lives of their students.

The prestigious annual awards, sponsored by The Courier-Mail, are the only state government awards to recognise teachers from all school sectors, with a broad range of categories covering innovation, beginning teachers, community contribution and excellence.

This year a record 243 nominations were received across six categories.

Elanora State High School's Matthew Barber was among five finalists named in the Outstanding Contribution to School Community category.

The school's CooeeGC program led by Mr Barber allows senior students to complete their Queensland Certificate of Education while also giving them the flexibility to begin a school-based traineeship.

Uniquely surfing is also a key element, with students taking to the ocean together under the watch of a professional coach for about six hours of training each week.

Mr Barber said the program gives kids a "real-world" experience, and helps teach them responsibility.

"The kids start their morning with surf training, and they're usually there by 6am at the latest," he said.

"If they're learning to get up early to do their surf training, then they're a good chance to get up early to be at a job.Plus a portion of their apprenticeship or traineeship pay goes towards their surf coaching, so it's teaching them about budgeting."

Matthew Barber from Elanora State High School has been named a finalist in this year’s QCT TEACHX Awards for his work connecting students with surfing through the CooeeGC Program. Here he is pictured with CooeeGC students Gemma Rosenvald and Kaya Horn. Photo: Nigel Hallett
Matthew Barber from Elanora State High School has been named a finalist in this year’s QCT TEACHX Awards for his work connecting students with surfing through the CooeeGC Program. Here he is pictured with CooeeGC students Gemma Rosenvald and Kaya Horn. Photo: Nigel Hallett

Mr Barber said part of the program was also focused on supporting kids to form relationships with members of the community, such as potential employers, as well as helping to equip them with skills which would boost their ability to thrive in the workforce.

"When kids are in a school environment, kids are very school-like in their behaviour," he said.

"It's not necessarily how they would behave in a sporting environment or a work environment.

"Essentially by operating this way you eliminate things like bullying or silly kid behaviour which can go on in the school yard - you don't really get those issues.

"It's like a transition from school to the real world, and it makes the kids more worldly."

Other finalists in the same category include Wisdom College's Canan Coskun, Burpengary State Secondary College's Amber-Lee Donahoo, Maroochydore State High School's Tamika Megawatt and Marsden State High School's Mitchell Robertson.

Mr Roberston was one of four finalists from Marsden State High School - the only school to have more than one nominee - including school principal Andrew Peach who was named in the Excellent Leadership in Teaching and Learning Award category.

QCT board chair Wendy Patton said the TEACHX Awards showcase the exceptional work of teachers across all subjects and year levels, across Queensland.

"Teaching is complex and challenging, as well as incredibly rewarding, and it is impossible not to be inspired by the work of these finalists," Emeritus Professor Patton said. "I wish to congratulate all the finalists on the extraordinary differences they have made in their students' lives - it is a privilege to be able to highlight and share their work. I'd also like to congratulate the hundreds of teachers who were nominated for the awards for their teaching excellence."

 

Excellence in Beginning to Teach Award

Daniel Chen, Saint Stephen's College

Kirra Gold, Marsden State High School

Laura Loucks, Tagai State College - Badu Island Campus

Gabrielle Milne, Nursery Road State Special School

Susanne Sprungala, Kirwan State High School

 

Excellence in Teaching Award

Ruth MacLean, Indooroopilly State High School

Catherine Nicholson, Chancellor State College

Meagan Pearse, Anglican Church Grammar School

Michelle Ragen, Brisbane Grammar School

Carla Trott, St Aidan's Anglican Girls' School

 

Innovation in Teaching Award

Townsville State High School

Wendy Goldston, Frenchville State School

Jennifer Irving, Nambour Special School

Thomas Patterson, Marsden State High School

Belinda Rule, C&K Eimeo Road Community Kindergarten

 

Excellent Leadership in Teaching and Learning Award

Linda Eager, Kelvin Grove State College

Patrick Egan, Emmaus College Rockhampton

Lynne Hardy, Mackay State High School

Andrew Peach, Marsden State High School

Tamara Sullivan, Ormiston College

 

Outstanding Contribution to School Community Award

Matthew Barber, Elanora State High School

Canan Coskun, Wisdom College

Amber-Lee Donahoo, Burpengary State Secondary College

Tamika Megawatt, Maroochydore State High School

Mitchell Robertson, Marsden State High School

 

The Courier-Mail Outstanding Contribution to Teaching Award

Kirsti Ellerton, Brisbane School of Distance Education

Catherine Heiner, Sheldon College

Norah Parsons, Moura State High School

Lynne Schlyder, Somerville House

Michael Senior, Ambrose Treacy College

 


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