Congratulations to the 2017 Public Education Award finalists.
To see previous award winners, visit the past winners page.
Principal, Grant High School
Seeking to influence culture at Grant High School, Fleur has introduced a structure of student communities to improve relationships, wellbeing and decision-making. The restructure was supported by the establishment of an innovative new learning space, ‘the Hub’. This space positively impacts student wellbeing by creating a safe place, which connects students.
Director, Stirling District Kindergarten
Gordon’s leadership has positioned Stirling District Kindergarten as an innovative early childhood site with national and international recognition. His practices in developing learning environments to positively influence children’s behaviour, attention, and engagement in the classroom, have been emulated by peers across public and private sectors. Attendance at the kindergarten is highly sought after; evidenced by a significant increase in enrolments.
Principal, Hospital School SA
Hospital School SA is a unique pre-school to year 12 school assisting students with complex needs, and their families, in two hospital sites and a secondary school. Margot leads a multi-disciplinary team, working in partnership with health professionals and educators to support vulnerable young people to continue their learning programs until they can successfully re-enter school or other education pathways.
Teacher, Lock Area School
Cendall is an innovative, passionate, award-winning English and History teacher from Lock Area School. Through networking and scholarship opportunities she has developed local, national and international relationships with teachers and world-leading experts. This has helped create a rigorous, engaging, and integrated curriculum which has assisted several students to win overseas study tours to further their passion for history.
Teacher, Naracoorte High School
Emma encourages student engagement with the community through experiences such as touring wineries, abattoirs and the largest livestock exchange in South Australia. By fostering relationships with local business, Emma has secured additional support for the school’s agricultural programs and varied opportunities for student learning; combining strengths in literacy, numeracy, science and technology with enhanced social skills and community awareness.
Campus Manager Independent Learning Centre, Naracoorte High School
Tammy leads the Naracoorte Independent Learning Centre, which takes a holistic approach to health and wellbeing for disengaged and at-risk students, combined with a focus on improving educational outcomes. Tammy’s work on cultural change within the centre has resulted in significantly improved attendance and SACE completion rates, and has facilitated student success through timely connections to relevant services and resources.
Teacher, Pooninidie Community Learning Centre
Clint teaches the year 5/6/7 class at Poonindie Community Learning Centre. He places high importance on the value of student voice, and creates opportunities for students to provide regular feedback on his teaching. Clint facilitates a safe environment for rigorous learning by developing individualised learning programs and attainable goals for all students. His success is demonstrated through improved learning outcomes.
Teacher, Fregon Anangu School
Rodney’s philosophy of teaching is that behavioural relapses do not erase the growth and successes within self-development, relationships, learning and wellbeing. The learning environment needs to be perceived as safe by each and every student and these perceptions of safety vary from student to student. Rodney believes learning should be culturally responsive, engaging, supportive, challenging and made to be visual.
Assistant Principal, Kimba Area School
Sally supports the emotional, social and academic wellbeing of all the children in her care, whilst investigating different approaches to improving learning outcomes. She is working to embed STEM subjects at Kimba Area School. Her approach to learning influences, motivates and inspires students to learn. Sally collaborates broadly and utilises the growth mindset approach to improve resilience and to build student efficacy.
Preschool Director, Flinders Children's Centre and Tji Tji Preschool
Kerry has embraced a continuum of change in curriculum and programs at Flinders Children's Centre and Tji Tji Preschool. As an educator in a globalised world, she is passionate about exposing the centre's children to a broad spectrum of learning so their journey is a positive experience of respecting cultural diversity. She infuses these throughout the curriculum, grounding the children in the importance of self-identity, culture and country.
Teacher of the Deaf, Klemzig Auslan Bilingual Preschool
Sandra is a passionate early childhood teacher and teacher of deaf children. By being committed to building reciprocal trusting relationships with families, she has the opportunity to provide deaf and hard of hearing children with the best language outcomes to become successful future citizens. Sandra has achieved this by developing learning programs, using appropriate curriculum, developmental learning assessments and reflective teaching strategies.
Early Childhood Educator, The Nest, Alberton Primary School
Susan has influenced environmental design at the Nest through the development of a learning space that creates a more fluid transition from home to school and reduces anxiety for young children. Susan is inspired by the educational philosophies of Waldorf Steiner, Reggio Emilia and Aboriginal ways of learning and intends to undertake research to explore common ground between these principles.
Trade Schools Support Officer, Kadina Memorial School
Hannah supports students to stay engaged with school and proactively plan for the future by connecting them with school-based apprenticeships, traineeships and work experience. By giving students the knowledge and confidence to explore opportunities to successfully establish and operate their own businesses, benefits are provided for both students and the local community.
Youth Worker, Grant High School
Mathew believes it is important to provide a dynamic approach to supporting students at risk of wellbeing and disengagement factors. Using a strength-based approach within a flexible case management framework, Mathew enables students to identify pathways to personal goals while strengthening their understanding of self and learning. This has enhanced the wellbeing and learning experiences of students.
Laboratory Manager, Christies Beach High School
Michael is passionate about delivering exciting and innovative experiences for young people in Adelaide’s south. He strives to reduce the gap between the highest and lowest achievers by being inclusive and providing unique opportunities for learning. A significant achievement has been the development of learning spaces for the school’s Environmental Learning Centre, which has positively impacted student wellbeing and attendance.
Education Director, Mount Gambier Portfolio
Adam has led a continued and successful focus on developing learners that are resilient, powerful and engaged with their communities. He drives system excellence across the Mount Gambier Portfolio by creating conditions and a culture where partnerships actively work towards the ideal of becoming ‘one big school’, seeking improvement opportunities not only for their own students but for all children.
Senior Policy and Project Officer, Volunteers, Engagement and Wellbeing
Heidi has a passion and commitment to ensure strategic, safe and meaningful volunteer involvement within DECD. This has resulted in state-wide system reform to embed better support for sites to involve volunteers. With over 25,000 volunteers working within DECD, Heidi’s work is very important in ensuring children and students are given opportunities to reach their potential.
Powerful Learners through Playful Pedagogies Project
Early Childhood, Mount Gambier Regional Office
This project highlights the impact of inquiry and reflective practice on pedagogy and professional capacity in early childhood educators. Sustainable change happens when educators are supported to engage in rich dialogue, informed by current theory and research. As a result sites have reported increased engagement and motivation in literacy learning and the project has grown into a portfolio-wide professional learning community.
Aboriginal Secondary Education Transition Officer, Para Hills School P-7 and Para Hills High School
Donna is a Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi women from Gilgandra NSW. Donna has been working within DECD since 2005 as an Aboriginal Secondary Education Transition Officer and has always been highly involved with children’s schooling. Donna is also on several parent committees and is a governing council member. She works across 2 sites; Para Hills School P-7 and Para Hills High School.
Preschool Director, Port Lincoln Children's Centre
As a leader of an integrated long day care and preschool service since 2007, Joanne has established a strong sense of belonging and cultural connectedness for the Aboriginal families of the Port Lincoln area. She has worked extensively with a broad range of inter-agency support networks to build the centre’s capacity and attend to the health of the children.
Aboriginal Community Education Officer, Elizabeth North Primary School
Trenna is a Narungga/Kokatha descendant and has been working at Elizabeth North Primary School for 5 years as the Aboriginal Community Education Officer. She aims to increase community involvement within the school and promote a strong, positive cultural identity for students. Trenna strives to identify students’ needs, working with families and staff to support greater learning, social and wellbeing outcomes through guidance and local community connections.
Aldinga Beach Children's Centre
Aldinga Beach Children's Centre's vision is to 'create a learning community where we work together to be the best we can be'. Learning, connecting, celebrating and building belonging to the Aldinga and Sellicks community is at the heart of their work. Significant partnerships shape projects including The Giving Garden and Our Big Backyard, providing places of engagement and promoting the philosophy that learning happens everywhere.
Port Augusta Children's Centre
Port Augusta Children's Centre staff are motivated to improve Aboriginal involvement in employment, education and services in Port Augusta. The ultimate aim is to increase attendance in schools following on from access to quality early years programs and services to support families’ basic needs. They are seeing an improvement in attendance at school, preschool and playgroups by families they are working with.
School Bike Program
Bowden Brompton Community School
Bowden Brompton Community School has built a vast network of community relationships through the development of the school’s Bike Program and onsite 'Pump Track'. With student support and strong leadership, the school provides a thoroughly engaging program that incorporates and relies upon strong community partnerships, and provides tangible outcomes for some of the state’s most marginalised students.
Empowering Local Learners Project
Port Augusta - Quorn Partnership
The Empowering Local Learners Project has been operating successfully from pre-school to senior secondary across all sites in the Port Augusta/Quorn Partnership for the last 5 years. The project is a collaboration with Flinders University and seeks to improve student engagement and achievement in mathematics through a focus on the development of problem solving and executive function skills.
Senior Leader, Alternative Programs, Salisbury East High School
Scott Dirix is the developer and leader of the Salisbury East Alternative Learning (SEAL) program at Salisbury East High School. This program re-engages students in learning pathways with a focus on employment outcomes through VET learning courses, workplace learning activities, community projects, and student enterprise, whilst acting as a stand-alone alternative to SACE.
@SA (Teaching with Comprehensible Input)
Port Elliot Primary School
This team of language teachers use Teaching with Comprehensible Input (TCI) pedagogy, offering a personalised language program to students and providing opportunities for student voice. The innovative practice has been highly successful internationally and addresses student engagement, differentiation and retention issues. By catering for all learner types, the approach allows students who were previously disengaged to participate successfully.
Disability Unit School Services Officers
Murray Bridge High School
This team’s strong adherence to professionalism and authentic practice supports improved learning outcomes for all students with intellectual disabilities and Autism at Murray Bridge High School. The team promotes social integration and resilience as they embrace smart technology across learning areas. This has enabled students to participate in a wide range of activities that connect existing knowledge with social cognitive problem solving.
School Services Officer, Pimpala Primary School
As a School Services Officer, Kyal uses exceptional interpersonal skills to foster respectful, trusting relationships with students for whom school is a difficult setting. Kyal actively researches strategies to engage students in learning. His successful approach creates pathways for these students to re-engage with other staff and peers, and has had a significant impact on improved educational outcomes.
Aboriginal Training Transition and Employment Officer, Para Hills Education Office
Natasha coordinates the Northern Workabout Centre, an innovative, integrated model for connecting Aboriginal youth with pathways to sustainable employment. Natasha delivers training, tailors programs to meet the needs of Aboriginal students, and offers coaching to ensure students achieve to the best of their ability. Natasha goes above and beyond to provide individualised support to prepare students for success on their chosen pathway.
Public Education Awards
Phone: 8226 2339
Email: publiceducationawards [at] sa.gov.au