A primary school teacher with a passion for encouraging primary students, particularly girls, into studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is among the winners of the prestigious 2017 Victorian Education Excellence Awards.
Canterbury Primary School teacher Emma Ross was named winner of the Outstanding Primary Teacher Award category. Ms Ross is dedicated to reversing the under-representation of females in STEM education and believes that student voice and teacher relationships are the foundation of a child’s education success.
‘I believe that every child can connect with STEM subjects to develop all of their learning skills — in literacy, numeracy, creative-thinking and problem-solving,’ Ms Ross says.
The Victorian Education Excellence Awards (VEEA) recognise the inspirational teachers, principals and support staff who have dedicated themselves to supporting our schools and our students. The awards demonstrate the tangible work going on in schools to transform Victoria into the Education State.
The nine award categories cover inclusive education, school advancement, education support, Koorie education, outstanding business manager, outstanding primary and secondary school teacher and principal. The winners were chosen from a pool of 28 finalists.
Berwick College won the Outstanding Koorie Education Award category for its work creating a learning environment which respects and celebrates Indigenous culture through practice and curriculum. Assistant Principal Alison Birkett says the school embraces diversity by creating an inclusive school culture built on respect.
‘We support our Indigenous students to develop the skills, confidence and pride they need to be strong lifelong ambassadors for their culture.’
Swan Hill North Primary School took home the Outstanding School Advancement Award for their work in raising aspirations of their students, and creating a model to lift student learning outcomes which includes teacher collaboration and sharing of best practice.
‘By focussing on how to teach instead of what to teach, student learning and comprehension has been transformed,’ said principal Campbell McKay.
‘With our eye on building both academic and social potential, we’ve also embedded a positive student and staff culture that’s having an impact on our whole-school community.’
Steven Cook won the Outstanding Secondary Principal Award. Mr Cook was recognised for leading the successful re-establishment of Albert Park College following its closure in 2006, forging strong learning partnerships with business, government and community groups along the way. Mr Cook was also named the recipient of the Lindsay Thompson Award for Excellence in Education.
‘It has been a unique, challenging but, above all, incredible opportunity to lead the re-establishment of Albert Park College,’ Mr Cook says.
For more information on the Victorian Education Excellence Awards, see: VEEA
For a full list of 2017 VEEA winners, see: VEEA winners