Diverse Field Vie For Wa's Top Public Education Awards

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15th October 2010, 09:13pm - Views: 1444

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Media Statement  

Attention: Editor/Chief of Staff 

15 October 2010

Diverse field of State finalists vie for WA’s top public education awards  

A school 2000km offshore from the WA coast, a beginner teacher from a remote iron ore town

and an Indian-born teacher who wants disengaged students to love science are among a

diverse field of State finalists vying for WA’s top public education awards.

The State finalists in the 2010 WA Education Awards were announced today.  

The list includes 22 school teachers, principals and education support staff and 16 schools in

eight awards including Premier’s Teacher of the Year and WA Innovative School of the Year.

Department of Education Director General Sharyn O’Neill said the awards offered prestigious

recognition for the work of public schools and their staff across the State.

“Working in a school is a rewarding profession and the awards proudly acknowledge the

achievements of our hard working school teachers, principals and support staff,” she said.

The four State finalists for the highly coveted Premier’s Teacher of the Year are:

David  Henderson, Rossmoyne Senior High School

Louise Secker, Shenton College

Susan Sheridan, Tambellup Primary School

Ravila Rajor, Roleystone District High School

Ms Rajor, originally from India, was inspired to change the image of classroom science after

being told by a parent it was ‘not a subject important’ for her child.  She has since enabled

even the most disengaged students to enjoy their school work through science.

Ms O’Neill said this year’s State finalists highlighted the diverse nature of education in WA.

Christmas Island District High School, 2,000km off shore, is among four schools vying for the

WA Science School of the Year Award; while a Tom Price Primary School teacher, in the

Pilbara’s remote iron ore belt, is among 10 new teachers short-listed for WA Beginning

Teacher of the Year. 

Winners of the WA Education Awards will be revealed at a presentation breakfast at the Perth

Convention Exhibition Centre on December 6.

The WA Education Awards are sponsored by GESB, BHP Billiton Iron Ore, Teachers Health

Fund, Delron Cleaning, Edith Cowan University, Teachers Credit Union, ExxonMobil and

Department of Education. (A list of State finalists is attached.)


Media contact:  Chris Lawson 9264 5921 

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State finalists for the WA Education Awards 2010:

Premier’s Teacher of the Year sponsored by GESB

David Henderson, Rossmoyne Senior High School

A science (human biology and lower-secondary science) and careers and enterprise teacher at

Rossmoyne Senior High School. David demonstrates a level of knowledge, professionalism and

leadership that match the description of a truly great teacher. He is intensely student focussed,

provides engaging, relevant and unique learning experiences for his students and makes a

significant contribution to the development of science and career and enterprise education at

the school. He has established alliances with Rotary, Curtin University and various science

related associations which gives students access to learning opportunities through the National

Youth Science Forum, Siemens Science Experience, BioGENEius and scientists from Curtin


Susan Sheridan, Tambellup Primary School

An early childhood teacher at Tambellup Primary School for 25 years. Susan is a strong

advocate and developer of oral language and literacy programs in WA. She has been a driving

force for many innovative educational strategies in the early learning years which have been the

building of strong literacy foundations for children at the school. This has enabled Tambellup

Primary School to achieve literacy outcomes well above expectations at a national level. The

programs have also greatly increased parent participation in school activities.

Ravila (Ruby) Rajor, Roleystone District High School


science teacher at Roleystone District High School. Originally from India, Ruby was inspired

to change the image of classroom science after being told by a parent it was ‘not a subject

important’ for her child. As a teacher, she has formed links with technology, mining and medical

industries to prove science is a break through field and to encourage students to explore

science related careers. Her special gift lies in making unmotivated students eager to learn

more about science. Ms Rajor has enabled even the most disengaged students to find

enjoyment and knowledge in their school work through science. 

Louise Secker, Shenton College

A level 3 classroom teacher in ancient and modern history and humanities at Shenton College.

Louise has inspired students both in the classroom and in extra curricular activities.  She has

encouraged students to achieve in high levels of academic competition and areas such as

debating at a national level. She works with programs for gifted and talented students and

assimilates students with disabilities into her classrooms. She counts her work with a wheel

chair bound, vision impaired and mute cerebral palsy student as the highlight of her career. Her

dedication in implementing challenging and engaging learning opportunities for a range of

students has resulted in accolades for students at a school, state and national level.

WA Principal of the Year sponsored by BHP Billiton Iron Ore

Christine Arnold, Narembeen District High School

Christine’s dedication as principal is nothing short of inspirational. She is considered a role

model, whose leadership and encouragement fosters a “give it a go” attitude amongst her staff

and students. Christine also spends time as a science teacher, netball and swimming coach.

She was awarded the National Excellence in Teaching Award in 2002 and was last year named

the Narembeen Australia Day Citizen of the Year Award. In 2010, Narembeen District High

School was awarded the Midlands District Award for Excellence in Operations. Recently, she

successfully led the application for the school to become an Independent Public School.

Lee Musumeci, Challis Early Childhood Education Centre

Lee is an outstanding principal who has developed a reputation throughout the State as an

innovative and visionary leader in early childhood education. She has made a significant impact

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on the community, implementing programs that have gained respect both in state and national

circles. She is at the forefront of education in Western Australia and has developed partnerships

with community organisations, government agencies and policy makers. Her influence in early

childhood education is transforming future policies.

Elisabeth Turner, Waggrakine Primary School

Known as a ‘hands on” leader, Elisabeth has in her two years as principal bought passion,

commitment and a vision for excellence to the school. Considered the driving force of the

school’s success, she has the skills to inspire her staff to continue their own professional growth

and lead them to maximise student outcomes. Her leadership and innovation led her to being

invited by the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership this year to be a master

class lecturer. She was one of three principals in Australia to be invited.

Julian Vinciullo, West Balcatta Primary School

Considered an exemplary and enthusiastic educator, Julian’s dedication has enabled the school

to stand out as a leading literacy and numeracy school. NAPLAN results in 2009 saw the school

recognised as one of the top 10 performers in the State. As a result, the school was one of two

in WA to be selected to be part of a national research program. Julian is passionate about

educational excellence and remains at the forefront of educational trends. His approachable,

collaborative style has garnered him a reputation as an effective and visible leader.

WA Beginning Teacher of the Year sponsored by Teachers Health Fund

Kate Abbott, Tom Price Primary School

Kate started her teaching career at Tom Price Primary School at the beginning of the 2010

school year. She recently graduated from Curtin University with a Bachelor of Early Childhood,

finishing in the top three per cent of all students graduating in 2009. Although she was offered

jobs in non-Government and international education sectors, she accepted a job with the

Department of Education and moved to Tom Price at the beginning of the year. She contributes

to the school community and involves herself with extra curricula and weekend events. Her

principal reports that she is held in extremely high regard by staff, students and parents, with a

large number of parents requesting her as their child’s teacher for 2011.

Mary-Louise Bertram, Carson Street School

According to parents and staff at Carson Street School, Mary-Louise is dedicated and

committed to her role, well beyond the call of duty. She undertakes courses to aid her

professional development and researches new information to improve the quality of learning for

students in her own time. She seeks new information that helps her to develop various

programs which cater to the differing needs and personalities of her students. As a result, each

child has displayed significant improvement in their fine motor skills, literacy and

communication, which has dramatically improved the quality of their lives. Even whilst

undergoing cancer treatment, Mary-Louise remained motivated and focused on the student’s

education and learning.

Ebony Caramia, Christmas Island District High School

Ebony Caramia is in her second year of teaching at Christmas Island District High School,

where she teaches a Year 3 class with students from Chinese, Malay, Indian, Aboriginal and

Australian backgrounds. Half of her students are from a non-English speaking background and

speak English as a second language. Before becoming a primary teacher, Ebony was a dance

teacher and she has passed on her love of dancing to the students in her class. She provides a

safe, inclusive, supportive learning environment which focuses on social skills. This has resulted

in a much more cohesive group of students with improved self esteem, regardless of their level

of achievement. She readily adapts to new ideas and changing directions in education and has

steadily developed her professional knowledge and understanding.

Luke Chapman, Hampton Senior High School

Luke has been teaching for less than three years and is already head of science at Hampton

Senior High School. Luke oversees six science labs and a specialist lecture theatre, while

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teaching his own Year 12 Human Biology and Chemistry classes and a Year 10 science class.

His students and colleagues admire his patience and dedication. Luke is an innovative, creative

and engaging educator and helps his peers to engage their students through the use of


Hayley Hoskin, Mindarie Senior College


natural educator Hayley’s enthusiasm for English is infectious. A keen learner Hayley is

always up-skilling her knowledge to benefit her students, which included extending to a double

degree in Arts at Edith Cowan University and making the Dean’s Honour Roll. Hayley meets the

needs of individual students and makes English come alive through excursions to newspapers

and libraries. Her peers credit her with being a positive young female role model who makes her

students feel genuinely supported and cared for.     

Kellie Hunter, Waggrakine Primary School


mature aged graduate, Kellie is committed to appealing to disengaged students. Kellie has a

number of innovative teaching techniques, which includes using interactive whiteboards, online

learning and ‘funny money’ activities. Kellie is passionate about sharing knowledge and inspired

her colleagues to work together to improve outcomes for students. This knowledge sharing has

been extended to include international teachers through her involvement in the Microsoft

Innovative Schools project.  Kellie created an online blog and updates it regularly with her

innovative teaching practices.        

Jamie Lamb, Kirup Pirmary School

Jamie Lamb is a highly competent teacher who considers the needs of all students –

academically, socially, emotionally, physically and spiritually. He works hard to improve his own

teaching skills through professional development and even went as far as Japan in 2008 to

further his studies in Japanese. He is able to get to the heart of troubled students and help them

onto a path towards improvement.

Rebekka Sinclair, Carnarvon School of the Air

Rebekka has strong relationships with her students, building on their knowledge and providing

feedback which helps them achieve key outcomes in Early Childhood Education. She has

developed a group education plan that caters for students with specific learning needs and

develops an intensive program to address these needs.

Tammy Turner, Pemberton District High School

Tammy creates an environment in which students love to be involved, by becoming familiar with

each student’s personality and providing them with challenging learning opportunities. For her

‘Dinosaur’ program, Tammy held a mini archaeological dig in a tent and provided tools for her

students to work with accompanied by photos to explain what they might find. Student

attendance increased by 20 per cent from last year.

Sarah Warren, Clifton Hills Primary School

Sarah presents her lessons in a variety of ways to cater for the individual learning styles of her

students. She has recently introduced an enrichment program for the academically gifted

students in her class. Sarah runs an Eco Club for students in Years 1 to 3, teaching them

respect and understanding for environmental issues and providing hands on environmental


WA School Support Staff Member of the Year sponsored by Delron Cleaning

Mary Anderson , Durham Road School

Mary has worked at Durham Road School as an education assistant for 30 years. The school is

an education support school that caters for students from four to 18 who have intellectual and

physical disability and sensory impairment. Her input has a positive impact on the school.

Karen Fooks, Ashdale Secondary College

Karen is a passionate education assistant who develops a supportive and unique rapport and

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bond with students, parents and staff beyond the normal expectations. Her colleagues describe

Karen as an inspiration with endless spirit and goodwill.

Maha Tawil, Cyril Jackson Senior Campus

Maha Tawil is employed as an ethnic education assistant and helps students and parents with

interpreting, translation and cross-cultural communication. She is active in campus life and

participates in events such as Harmony Day and the Cyril Jackson Health Festival. 

Joy Unno, Mindarie Senior College

Joy has been praised for her outstanding knowledge and skill in all aspects of her role as a

science laboratory technician at Mindarie Senior College.  As a foundation staff member she

has almost single-handedly taken the science classrooms and preparation area from bare

empty rooms to fully functional science education labs.

WA Literacy School of the Year sponsored by sponsored by Edith Cowan University

East Narrogin Primary School

South Newman Primary School

Tom Price Primary School

Waggrakine Primary School

WA Numeracy School of the Year sponsored by Teachers Credit Union

Beeliar Primary School

Busselton Senior High School 

Huntingdale Primary School

Yule Brook College

WA Science School of the Year sponsored by ExxonMobil

Applecross Primary School

Burrendah Primary School

Christmas Island District High School

Newton Moore Senior High School

WA Innovative School of the Year sponsored by Department of Education

Belmont City College

Neerigen Brook Primary School

Peron Alliance Curriculum and Teaching (PACT)

Yule Brook College

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