Outstanding Primary Principal
The Outstanding Primary Principal award recognises exceptional principals who have demonstrated leadership excellence in a Victorian government primary school. These principals have made a significant contribution to improving staff and student achievement, engagement, and wellbeing; raised the quality of teaching; and improved the overall performance of their school.
Garry Rolfe, Cranbourne East Primary School
Principal Garry Rolfe is well-known as a longstanding principal in the South-East region, dedicating much of his career to the Casey South Network where he has very successfully led two quite different schools – Cranbourne Primary School and Cranbourne East Primary School.
Now leading Cranbourne East Primary, Garry has worked closely with all stakeholders since the early planning stages of the school, establishing his vision to foster happy, safe and engaged students in an inclusive, information technology-rich and student-centred global learning environment.
Garry's strategic management and leadership firmly positions students' needs at the centre of all decision-making and targeted resource allocation, and establishes the value of high expectations in supporting student achievement and wellbeing.
A strong advocate of evidenced-based teaching and learning initiatives, Garry's highly effective and distributed leadership approach has significantly increased the professional learning and leadership capacity of his staff, and continues to make a significant contribution to the building of system-wide leadership capacity across network schools in the region.
Kim Saddlier, Kangaroo Flat Primary School
Principal of Kangaroo Flat Primary School, Kim Saddlier, leads a learning community where equity and a strong sense of belonging enhance the education of every child.
As a school leader, Kim uses her expertise to focus collaborative effort on improving the quality and impact of teaching and learning, helping to break the link between students' disadvantage and poor achievement. Solution-focused and proactive in reducing barriers to education, Kim involves families at every step of the learning and support.
Working across school and pre-school settings, Kim has initiated a therapeutic model along with the School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support framework, to support oral language development and students' self-regulation and transition. Her innovative student and family-centred approach is evidenced by significant improvement in students' health and wellbeing data.
Improving the academic and wellbeing outcomes of students regardless of their start in life and family circumstances, Kim's leadership of the school is ensuring an inclusive and effective educational provision for the wider benefit of all.
Andrew Augerinos, Oberon Primary School
An outstanding school leader and champion of public education, Andrew Augerinos, Principal of Oberon Primary School, has successfully led the school through several periods of profound change to become the positive school culture it is today.
Andrew's vision was the implementation of a value-driven program (GR8 Values) to set a cultural benchmark for the school. Now an ethos shared by all the students, teachers and community, it guides every aspect of school life and is evidenced in consistently high levels of student wellbeing, academic achievement and high approval ratings from staff and parents.
Andrew's leadership is founded on the principled encouragement and support of others, whether students, staff, teachers or aspiring principals.
Building a rich culture of support for learning over many years, Andrew's sustained investment in the professional development of his staff, his mentoring of others and fundamental belief that every student has the capacity to succeed, has created a school of influence highly-regarded in the South West region.
Hayley Doyle, Swan Hill Primary School
Principal Hayley Doyle is passionate about ensuring the students at Swan Hill Primary School are provided with the same educational opportunities as their metropolitan counterparts, despite their rural location and level of disadvantage.
Believing that a positive and informed staff culture promotes positive student outcomes, Hayley's leadership places considerable emphasis on working with staff to nurture a diverse, adaptive and high-performing workforce, committed to improving students' wellbeing and learning outcomes.
Hayley's high expectations for all children at Swan Hill Primary are also positively impacting upon Aboriginal students' learning outcomes, evidenced by NAPLAN results placing Koorie students well-above other Koorie students in like-schools across the state. Hayley's leadership is ensuring the school is well on its way to achieving the Marrung Aboriginal Education Plan's commitment to closing the gap in educational achievement.
Hayley is contributing her leadership expertise at a system level too, as a member of the FISO Principal Reference Group, the Southern Mallee Network Executive Team and as a Bastow Inspire Facilitator.
Colin Simpson Outstanding Secondary Principal
The Colin Simpson Outstanding Secondary Principal award recognises exceptional principals who have demonstrated leadership excellence in a Victorian government secondary school. These principals have made a significant contribution to improving staff and student achievement, engagement, and wellbeing; raised the quality of teaching; and improved the overall performance of their school.
This award is named in recognition of the late Colin Simpson who was a teacher and education leader in Victoria. He was the foundation principal of Richmond High School from 2017 to 2019 and principal of the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School (VCASS) from 2004 to 2016. He was awarded the Outstanding Leadership Award at the 2009 VEEA.
Deborah Harman, Balwyn High School
Deborah Harman, Principal of Balwyn High School for the last thirteen years, has led with an aspirational educational vision that sets challenging goals for teaching and support staff, and promotes school and system-wide commitment to achieving excellence in student outcomes.
Balwyn High School has an outstanding record of excellence in VCE outcomes. The record of perfect ATAR scores students have achieved under Deborah's principalship is testament to the culture that has been built around excellence and her unwavering commitment to the sustained improvement of public education.
Deborah has mentored four aspiring principals through Bastow's Unlocking Potential program, investing in their development well beyond their time at Balwyn High School, including supporting their successful transition to principalship.
Recently completed building works at the school are the result of the largest self-funded project in government school history. Deborah's courage and leadership was instrumental in raising the support and funds necessary to provide these state-of-the-art learning facilities.
Justin Esler, Diamond Valley Special Developmental School
Diamond Valley Special Developmental School is a complex educational environment, which Principal Justin Esler leads with a holistic approach, ensuring student voice is at the heart of the school's community and purpose.
Justin has instigated a system of educational support where every student has access to a communication system that best suits their needs, through which they collaborate with their teachers to co-design their learning to meet individual need, based on their Individual Education Plan (IEP).
The impact of Justin's leadership in educational support is far-reaching, with students now able to describe to their parents how they feel, confident in their ability to share ideas in the classroom.
Justin's whole-school approach to the management of staff extends to gardeners, technicians and therapists, bringing teachers and support staff together to better appreciate each person's valued contribution to student learning. Justin's leadership has created an educational climate of positivity and trust, with all support roles understood as crucial to the success of students.
Pitsa Binnion, McKinnon Secondary College
Pitsa Binnion is a highly experienced educator and Principal of McKinnon Secondary College – one of the largest and highest-performing secondary colleges in Victoria. A well-regarded advocate for public education, Pitsa demonstrates an exemplary and sustained commitment to the Victorian state system and its students.
Working as an advisor, mentor and educational leader, Pitsa is building teacher and principal capacity across the sector, contributing to Department of Education and Training advisory panels, school reviews and policy development at the highest levels. Her exceptional leadership, positive community impact and contribution to improving student and organisational outcomes has won her many prestigious awards and positions of influence and authority.
And yet, it is Pitsa's sustained commitment to students that sets her apart: enacting her vision for the development of a learning environment that nurtures excellence, responsibility and personal commitment, she is building the second McKinnon Secondary College campus, driven by her commitment to delivering high-quality outcomes to young people living in Melbourne's South East.
Outstanding Primary Teacher
The Outstanding Primary Teacher award recognises effective and innovative teachers who have demonstrated excellence in teaching practice at a Victorian government primary school and have made a significant contribution to improving student achievement, engagement, and wellbeing.
Erin Beissel, Clarinda Primary School
Erin Beissel from Clarinda Primary School is applying evidence-based research and professional learning to drive improvement in teaching practices, and particularly in literacy instruction.
Working from a strong foundation of learning and research, Erin has led the implementation of a consistent whole-school model of literacy instruction: the Reader's and Writer's Workshop, based on the Gradual Release of Responsibility model.
Erin's use of a range of professional development settings has brought staff on board and changed their instructional practices to ensure high-quality learning outcomes for every student. Erin has worked with staff to embed different elements of the High Impact Teaching Strategies (HITS) into the new literacy instruction model, embedding tools such as differentiation, feedback, goal setting and explicit teaching, and applying data and evidence to support her instructional leadership.
Erin's enthusiastic implementation of the new workshop model for Clarinda Primary has created a culture responsive to continuous learning and improvement, and focused on the best interests of students and school community.
Belinda Pedersen, John Henry Primary School
Leading the Amplify initiative at John Henry Primary School, Belinda Pedersen is a passionate educator and advocate for developing students' voice, agency and leadership within the classroom.
Applying High Impact Teaching Strategies (HITS), Belinda co-constructs success criteria and learning intentions with individual students to set goals and shape lesson sequences from an individual's point of need, using conferencing techniques to set and monitor students' progress.
Belinda is creating a culture of collaboration in literacy instruction at the school, guiding a Leading Literacy team with initiatives that are improving student outcomes and experience. Her sustained commitment to building positive relationships and developing expertise across the school and wider community, has further engaged parents and families in children's (online and classroom-based) learning programs and literacy development.
Key to her success as a teacher and leader is her ability to apply her professional learning and engagement in ways that ensure positive change, behaviours and expectations, empowering both students and staff at the school.
Rick Griffiths, Warrandyte Primary School
As classroom teacher, Literacy Leader and Acting Principal at Warrandyte Primary School, Rick Griffiths is a flexible and responsive educator, successfully leading the development of professional learning by example.
Striving to continually improve his own practice as an educator, Rick has undertaken Bastow's professional learning around the workshop model, and more recently, the Dylan Wiliam series for Embedding Formative Assessment. After establishing a new instructional model for the school, he is again sharing knowledge with his peers, modelling lessons and trialling new formative assessment processes in the classroom.
As a classroom practitioner, Rick works with students on personal and social-emotional goals and adjusts his teaching and routines to assist students that present with individual and additional needs. Responsive to each student, both academically and personally, Rick's capacity to support all students to thrive and achieve excellence is outstanding.
Over the last 13 years, Rick has significantly enhanced the educational quality and experience, academic and wellbeing outcomes for the whole Warrandyte community.
Outstanding Secondary Teacher
The Outstanding Secondary Teacher award recognises effective and innovative teachers who have demonstrated excellence in teaching practice at a Victorian government secondary school and have made a significant contribution to improving student achievement, engagement, and wellbeing.
Rachael Gore, Albert Park College
Rachael Gore is an innovative educator and numeracy leader, whose use of technology and engagement with students and teachers has contributed to Albert Park College's modernised approach to teaching.
Rachael's pioneering of important new technologies in the classroom and her influential contribution to the college's (leading) professional learning program, has been instrumental in revolutionising the way mathematics, and other disciplines, are taught across the school. Creating a Numeracy Portal that provides online curriculum and numeracy support for Middle Years and Integration Aides, Rachael has also initiated multiple workshops and coaching sessions with teams and individuals that model numeracy teaching excellence, working with peers to design curriculum that embeds numeracy intervention.
Rachael believes strongly in the potential of young people and is a major contributor to the College's positive education program. Rachael's commitment to improving students' welfare and levels of achievement has seen her students obtain perfect scores, win state-wide awards and score well-above the average for their final year results.
Steven Perry, Box Hill High School
In establishing the Faculty of Engineering and Technology (FET) at Box Hill High School, Steven Perry has enabled hundreds of students to engage in hands-on learning, rich with technologies and skill-based projects that develop students' creativity and resilience and prepared them for further STEM learning.
An innovative teacher and engineer, Steven sees opportunities for change and development and embraces them: while now cornerstones of the FET program, the popular Solar Car and Robocup programs were also very new, and in many ways, unchartered territory in education when Steven first initiated them.
At the heart of the FET programs is collaboration and inclusion. Working successfully with highly capable students and equally, with some of the most disengaged, testifies to Steven's fundamental belief that all students can achieve great things. Ensuring all students experience success has demanded his total dedication and service: his commitment to every aspect of school life has collectively lifted BHHS's performance and quality for more than twenty years.
Kimberley Zammit, Warringa Park School
Warringa Park School teacher, Kimberley Zammit, is ensuring that post-school opportunities are embedded into the school's later years curriculum and achieving exemplary results.
Kimberley led a curriculum review that has transformed VCAL learning and teaching outcomes, and forged strong vocational and community partnerships to deliver viable pathways for students with additional needs.
Kimberley's knowledge of curriculum, instruction and assessment has given her a deep understanding of how teachers and students learn. As a passionate advocate for inclusive learning, she has implemented project-based learning into the VCAL curriculum promoting student voice and agency. She has also supported staff to develop their capacity, practices and understanding of the purpose and reward of the VCAL curriculum.
Working in collaborative partnership with teachers, students, families, training providers and other local schools, Kimberley has been instrumental in improving VCAL engagement and vocational pathways for students at Warringa Park School and the wider Wyndham network.
Outstanding Early Career Primary Teacher
The Outstanding Early Career Primary Teacher award recognises effective and innovative teachers in the first five years of their teaching career who have demonstrated excellence in teaching practice at a Victorian government primary school and have made a significant contribution to improving student achievement, engagement, and wellbeing.
Meagan Lindberg, Cranbourne Primary School
Meagan Lindberg is an outstanding Prep and junior years educator at Cranbourne Primary School, who is ensuring the best possible learning foundation for all her students.
Meagan's strategic and inclusive approach characterises every aspect of her educational practice, whether developing and refining a teaching technique, listening to a student or leading whole-school improvement.
In her classroom practice, Meagan consistently has the highest performing student reading scores, leading to persistently strong reading outcomes in children's later years. Reviewing the educational research around phonics instruction, Meagan created screening procedures and lesson activities in her own class, while working with her Professional Learning Community to evaluate these initiatives.
Leading the School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support initiative, Meagan also works with the school's student leadership team, parent group and wellbeing team. In recognition of the importance of her exemplary teaching practice in the delivery of inclusive and culturally responsive education, she is now leading the Respectful Relationships and Marrung Indigenous Education Plan at the school.
Tiffany Thomas, Melton Primary School
Tiffany Thomas had a unique start to her teaching career, commencing at Melton Primary School in June 2020. Immediately immersed in remote teaching her very first class of grade six students, Tiffany quickly climbed a steep learning curve to engage with her students and colleagues she was yet to meet face-to-face.
Tiffany focused firstly on building a rapport with her students and their families. Working diligently, she actively listened, formed understanding of other's perspectives, demonstrated discretion, respect and compassion, framing her questions constructively to identify and remove any barriers to remote learning. Expertly guiding the transition back to onsite learning, she continued to provide a responsive learning experience for all students.
In a very short period of time, Tiffany has formed an exceptional knowledge of her students and their point of learning, adapting and adjusting her lessons accordingly, differentiating the individual learning needs of each. Now an instrumental member of the school's Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO) leadership team, Tiffany is already a high-level contributor to whole-school improvement.
Joshua Morton, Yarra Ranges Special Developmental School
Joshua Morton has played a pivotal role in the success of the Yarra Ranges Special Developmental School's (SDS) P-6 satellite unit at Healesville Primary School. Since starting his teaching career in 2017 with Yarra Ranges, Joshua has supported a range of classes from Prep through to Year 12, working with students with different disabilities and needs.
Currently Joshua is the sole classroom teacher at the satellite unit, providing an age-appropriate curriculum tailored to the different developmental levels of all nine students, ranging from Prep to Grade 5 with moderate to mild (and additional) disabilities. He works collaboratively with Healesville Primary School staff, external therapists and providers, families and carers and his own team of Educational Support staff to provide and enhance inclusive practices.
Contributing to teams at both Healesville Primary School and Yarra Ranges SDS, Joshua is an exemplary advocate for all students with disabilities within mainstream schools, extending all staff's knowledge, practice and expectations of students with disabilities in all settings.
Outstanding Early Career Secondary Teacher
The Outstanding Early Career Secondary Teacher award recognises effective and innovative teachers in the first five years of their teaching career who have demonstrated excellence in teaching practice at a Victorian government secondary school and have made a significant contribution to improving student achievement, engagement, and wellbeing.
Tessa Kirk, Geelong High School
Tessa Kirk is described by her Geelong High School colleagues as a truly exceptional teacher.
In one year, Theatre Studies teacher Tessa Kirk has improved VCE outcomes in the subject to the best they have ever been, run the school production, developed an exemplary digital curriculum resource, built deep and resonant relationships with students, staff and local networks, created inspiring extra-curricular opportunity and success, and more – all in a year of restrictions and remote learning.
Tessa's passionate investment in the work of teaching and learning, both within the school and outside it, bring professionalism, balance and positivity to everything she does.
Driving a new school initiative to improve young women's voice, agency and leadership in class, school and community, Tessa demonstrates her growing impact upon improved student outcomes; working with local schools she is co-creating community initiatives such as the regional forum for girls, Be Bold Be Heard, making a real difference for young women in her region.
Daniel King, Lowanna College
In only his third year of teaching, Daniel King has led Lowanna College's Professional Learning Community, Middle Years Literacy and Numeracy Support initiative and the Tutor Learning Initiative, and has been instrumental in strong numeracy growth, evidenced in much improved NAPLAN numeracy results (2018-20).
Working with peers to design and implement a data collection and analysis schedule and student progress tracking tools, Daniel's outstanding contribution has been critical to the refinement, evolution and effectiveness of the College's numeracy improvement plan. In addition to this work, Daniel leads weekly professional learning for educational support staff to build their mathematical capacity and confidence, enabling them to more actively participate in differentiated support within the classroom.
Ensuring maths is engaging and accessible to all students regardless of ability or background, Daniel is working with students who are well below the minimum standard in mathematics, using diagnostic tests to identify mathematical misconceptions and designing tasks to address these misconceptions, resulting in outstanding improvement in students' outcomes.
Elizabeth Parsons, Preston High School
Elizabeth Parsons joined Preston High School this year after three years at Horsham College. The trilingual Leading Teacher was given the inaugural role of Head of Year 9, the most senior year level (presently) at this new and expanding school, based on her similar role and accomplishments in regional Victoria.
A teacher of German, Chinese and English and a key member of the Languages Team at the school, Elizabeth is building exceptional curriculum and assessment resources and providing excellent teaching and leadership founded on strong relationships with students and colleagues.
In her current role as Head of Year 9, as in her previous role, Elizabeth is a responsible for the wellbeing and education of a large number of students.
Skilfully leading a team of mentor teachers and a middle year level focused on young people developing themselves as the 'Leaders of Tomorrow', she is actively developing teacher capability while connecting with community to build partnerships, creating new learning opportunities for her students.
Outstanding Physical Education and Activity Teacher
The Outstanding Physical Education and Activity Teacher award recognises an exceptional teacher in a Victorian government school who has demonstrated leadership and excellence in teaching physical education that has led to significant improvements in student achievement, engagement, and wellbeing.
Chloe Dew, Black Hill Primary School
Physical Education teacher Chloe Dew, demonstrates a whole-school and community perspective on improvement at Black Hill Primary School.
To promote positive health and a physically active culture, Chloe engages with digitally innovative, inclusive and culturally responsive education practices, creating an environment where students feel more empowered to have their say – not only in shaping their own learning, but in understanding the positive results of their agency.
Chloe's rethinking of Physical Education delivery through cross-curricular lessons has increased student engagement and enabled all students to benefit from differentiated learning. During remote learning, Chloe embraced the opportunity to educate families about current physical education practices via a virtual classroom, engaging the whole family in her lessons.
Chloe's roles as educational leader, board director with ACHPER Victoria and Region Coordinator with School Sport Victoria provide testament to her belief that the more connections she makes across school and community, the greater her ability to deliver high-quality learning opportunities for her students.
Courtney Gramc, Cranbourne Primary School
Courtney Gramc recognises the importance of engaging an entire school community in improving the health, wellbeing and educational outcomes for students.
As the Physical Education teacher at Cranbourne Primary School, Courtney's educational and wellbeing leadership is having a positive impact both within and beyond the school gates.
Leading the specialist Professional Learning Teams at Cranbourne Primary, Courtney works with High Impact Teaching Strategies (HITS) and School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support practices to identify and share best practice teaching and learning, collaboratively developing shared techniques and language that work across disparate learning areas.
Courtney has been instrumental in developing a whole-school Health Education curriculum, and leading a Special Events Team to plan internal and community-based events that bring year levels, students and families together in healthful ways.
Courtney's dedication to sharing her knowledge and experience for the benefit of others also extends to her role as a founding member of a PE community of practice operating in the Casey South Network, where she is enabling specialists to share best practice.
David Black, Wantirna College
David Black from Wantirna College, is an outstanding educator driving whole-school improvement through the development of curriculum and assessment practices in his Physical Education classrooms.
As a Leading Teacher, David has driven a developmental assessment initiative, first within the Health and Physical Education learning area, pioneering a new approach to formative assessment that allows staff and students to better identify, across any subject, where each student is at with their learning.
Actively championing the development of leadership skills within the faculty, David mentors staff to encourage personal development and leadership growth, supporting their progression to roles leading curriculum implementation, student management and the modelling of High Impact Teaching Strategies (HITS) across the College.
Whether reforming Parent Teacher Conferences to events where students drive the conversations using their individual developmental rubrics, facilitating the development of teaching and leadership skills within the faculty or leading curriculum development in Physical Education or across the school, David is consistently achieving exemplary school and student outcomes.
Outstanding Business Manager
The Outstanding Business Manager award recognises exceptional business managers within a Victorian government school who have demonstrated excellence in school finance and business management, while making a significant contribution to the performance of their school.
Juan Hompart, Berwick College
Juan has been the Business Manager at Berwick College since 2017, bringing expertise and creativity to the leadership team and significantly improving the financial management and position of the organisation.
Juan oversees all the financial aspects of a large College with 1650 students and 170 staff. His in-depth knowledge of DET systems, processes and procedures is ensuring the best possible use of resources. Initiating new streams of revenue and creating a more sustainable learning environment for staff and students, he is improving outcomes across the college.
Extending his relationships with colleagues in other schools, Juan has supported staff to access professional learning and networking opportunities and maximised funding opportunities in support of students. Juan assists all eligible and vulnerable students at the College to apply and receive funding in support of their engagement in education.
Juan's dedicated contribution towards sustained improvement, increased opportunity and sustainable resources for students and staff is ensuring a positive and sustainable future for Berwick College.
Sharyn Wilson, Doveton College
Sharyn Wilson has been the Business Manager for Doveton College since 2011. Her financial, administrative and business leadership has supported the complex provision of a unique model of education to the Doveton community – the learning begins with babies, and extends through to adult education opportunities, including certificated courses.
Supporting these educational opportunities are a complex network of services, partnerships and volunteers, led by Sharyn and central to the business of the College.
Driven by a deep commitment to improving outcomes for children and families, particularly those who are vulnerable, Sharyn is committed to providing support that is accessible – culturally, linguistically and financially. An expert manager of business, people and resources, Sharyn has negotiated and supported many agreements with service providers including philanthropic partners, Maternal Child Health, GPs and Monash Health who deliver health and allied health services onsite.
Under Sharyn's leadership, this unique educational model has delivered significant improvements in academic, engagement and wellbeing outcomes to the community of Doveton.
Lynette Moloney, Western English Language School
Lynette Moloney is the Business Manager for the Western English Language School – a multicultural, multicampus school for newly arrived refugee and migrant children in South Western Victoria.
Managing the school's finance and resources, twenty-one Multicultural Education Aides and office staff across six campuses, brings additional administrative and financial challenges to what is a challenging role at any school. Lynette's ability to adapt and find practical and compassionate solutions that benefit staff and students, ensures the wellbeing and support of both.
Lynette's compassion for the challenges faced by new arrivals to school and region, mean that she regularly goes above and beyond her role as Business Manager. During lockdowns this year and last year, this care has extended to organising food and clothing deliveries to refugee families, and initiating learning opportunities for parents to grow new skills and connect with their community.
Lynette's exemplary contribution to the school is improving outcomes for staff and students, and the wider community of South Western Victoria.