WA Education Awards 2009Tuesday, December 8. 2009
A breakfast took place in December, 2009, for the WA Education Awards 2009. Julie Boston, Science Teacher at John Curtin College of the Arts’ took out Teacher of the Year. Carolyn Cook the Principal of Hedland Senior High School became Principal of the Year. Exmouth District High School was named Best Literacy School, with Donnybrook District High School being named Best Numeracy School. Top School Support Staff Member award went to Geoff Warren and the Top Science School award was awarded to Ardross Primary School.
Teacher of the Year:
John Curtin College of the Arts’ teacher Julie Boston, Science Teacher, has been named the Premier’s Teacher of the Year at the WA Education Awards 2009.
After six years of teaching, this passionate and enthusiastic teacher has made a significant impact on public education. Single handedly rewriting the science curriculum for Year 8 gifted and talented students at the college, securing Level 3 Classroom Teacher status and winning the Australian College of Education Award from Curtin University are just some of her many achievements.
Ms Boston said the achievements encouraged her to achieve more. “I’m always trying to improve myself so I can help my students achieve the best results,” Ms Boston said.
Principal of the Year:
The Principal of Hedland Senior High School, Carolyn Cook, widely credited with having a dramatic impact at her school and increasing student attendance, has been named as the State’s favourite principal.
Known as a firm but fair leader, Ms Cook said she had a zero tolerance approach to fighting, bullying, mobile phones and iPods, and insisted that students were always in full correct uniform.
“I constantly reaffirm that the school is judged by the students, their behaviour and appearance,” she said.
“I can't take all the credit for the improvement at the school because I couldn't do it without the staff. This recognition is something of which the whole school can take credit for.”
When Ms Cook started at Hedland Senior High School she had to overcome several large obstacles, which included a school fire and a cyclone. She used these unfortunate events to organise planning days for teachers while students were unable to attend school.
Best Literacy School:
Isolation is no barrier to excellence for Exmouth District High School, which has been named as the best literacy school in the State.
Despite their isolation, Exmouth District High School staff continually hone their craft, ensuring that they are up-to-date with the latest technology and best teaching practices.
Deputy Principal Ian Fraser said the key to quality literacy education was quality teaching. “Our teachers are always enhancing their skills so they can develop the best learning programs for students and instil in them a passion for literacy,” Mr Fraser said.
Best Numeracy School:
Donnybrook District High School was named WA Numeracy School of the Year at the WA Education Awards 2009 presentation breakfast this morning.
Deputy principal Martin Spykers said the school had moved away from the traditional way of teaching numeracy and was taking a more innovative approach.
“Maths has had a makeover and it is far more hands-on and fun than ever before,” he said.
“Maths is more than just algorithms; we teach numeracy skills through games and physical interaction. “Students can add with objects, in their head, on paper and verbally.
“When students can demonstrate their understanding they feel more confident, and when they feel more confident learning becomes fun, not scary. “We have seen the confidence of students develop because of their work with the new maths program, which also filters through to all other learning areas.”
Top School Support Staff Member:
Dwellingup Primary School’s gardener and handyman, Geoff Warren, known for his pristine gardens has been named the State’s top school support staff member.
Mr Warren said the best part of his job was encouraging a love for the environment among the
students. “Opening the minds of the students to the importance of sustainability and encouraging active participation in our wonderful environment are really important to me,” Mr Warren said.
“The environment program at Dwellingup Primary School consists of a weekly environment group meeting where students plant vegetables and other 'goodies' in the permaculture garden and we weed and re-pot seedlings.
“We sort and recycle aluminium cans, and we also have chickens and a worm farm that the students care for.”
Top Science School:
Dedication to environmental sciences and conservation at Ardross Primary School has seen the school named the top science school in the State.
Principal Andy Holmes said creating real world science programs for the whole school helped students engage in science. “In the past two years, students have added 4000 local species of plants to the school’s gardens and donated 1500 plants to Wheatbelt farms for planting as wind breaks,” Mr Holmes said.
“Being a positive role model for environmental conservation is important to the school community and we teach about science while showing students how to be good environmental citizens.
“We’re aiming to get as close as we can to being carbon neutral, so we had $62,500 worth of solar cells installed on the school’s roof and we also have worm farms so the students harvest the fertiliser to use on our vegetable gardens.
“Along with the carbon neutral project, we are a Waterwise school. We’ve replaced 35 toilets and added tap timers and this has enabled us to reduce our water usage by 77,000 litres – despite increased enrolments.”
Who do you think deserves the awards for your state?
Do you have a favourite teacher? If so, why?
Do you think your school sticks out in Science, Numeracy or Literacy?