UNSW School of Education Annual Awards Evening

9 Mar 2017

UNSW School of Education Annual Awards Evening

The School of Education was excited to host our Annual Awards evening last night. MC’d by graduating Pre-Service education students, Sam DiSalvo and Natasha Shepanski, this student-led evening was a huge success.

Opening the night with the Welcome to Country were students from Matraville Sports High School, Jasmine Trindall and Alyssa Silva, followed by an inspiring and engaging keynote address by Paul Martin, Executive Director, Quality Teaching, NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA).

The night was the School of Education’s opportunity to recognise the outstanding commitment of those in schools and other educational institutions working to improve teacher quality in NSW. Presentations were made for both the Outstanding Supervising Teacher and the Community Engagement Awards.

The Outstanding Supervising Teacher Award recognises supervising teachers in schools who have made an outstanding contribution to the development of UNSW teacher education students. The nominations for the awards were made by our students who undertook professional experience in 2016. The Community Engagement Award recognises organisations in the education community who have given outstanding support to UNSW School of Education staff and/or students for research, teaching and/or other education-related projects in 2016.

The supervising teachers received their award from Paul Martin and Professor Chris Davison after listening to the nomination from the education student that they had supervised throughout their final practicum in 2016. All of the citations were heart-felt and inspiring, and made even more of an impact on both the teacher and whole audience when read out by the students. Here is an example of one of the 11 nominations we had on the night.

"From my first day at Mosman High School Catharina has been warm, welcoming and professional. As a university student the overwhelming nature of a practicum can be a daunting thought. However from the outset Catharina took the time to pre-plan for my visit and wholly prepare for her role as a supervising teacher. Catharina took the time to model her classroom practices as set high expectations for my classroom teaching through her unit and lesson planning, resources and of course her teaching. Catharina involved me in a wide and dynamic range of experiences during my practicum, which has attributed to my growth and development towards becoming a professional teacher. Marking, reporting, excursion planning, co-teaching, organising observations across faculties are just a small number of experiences that Catharina took the time to organise. Catharina has been such a professional role model throughout my practicum; through her collegial interactions and conversations, her presence in the classroom and the school is something to be admired, and something I will strive towards in my teaching profession. Catharina’s professional relationships with students and mentors a number of year 12’s and is also a year advisor for year 7 has also given me great insight into the teacher I want to become. Having only taught for 3 years and seeing the professional that Catharina is and has become in such a short time has allowed me to aspire to the heights of what Miss Simmonds has achieved. I am so amazingly thankful for the experiences at Mosman High School and know that my professional relationship with Catharina as a mentor and friend will continue well into my teaching career."

- Andrew Heggie (Bachelor of Arts/ Education student) nominating Catharina Simmonds from Mosman High School

To round off the Supervising Teacher Award portion of the evening, we were privileged to have Sarah Robinson (Matraville Sports High School Art teacher and award recipient), come up with three of her students to present to the School of Education three pieces of artwork that were commissioned for the School. These pieces of artwork, to be displayed in the School’s corridors, are a reflection of the nature of the strong partnership between the University and the School.

“Each artwork is a reflection of the diversity in our community. We all live side by side in harmony. The artworks symbolise the importance of education in enhancing our living narrative and the passing on of knowledge and understanding.

The artworks remind us to look back and reflect on the past with knowledge and respect, as well as to look forward to the future with hope and aspiration.

Just like the Partnership logo we all have the opportunity to spread our wings and fly.”

- Matraville Sports High School Art student

Matraville art 1

Matraville art 2 Matraville art 3

- Artwork by Matraville Sports High School art students

To give the participants a chance to stretch their legs and mingle for a little while before the next section of the evening, the Matraville Band played another uplifting piece, showcasing the hard work they had put in over the years.

The final part of the evening, before food, drinks and mingling between the participants, was the Community Engagement Awards. Presented by the always entertaining Dr Tony Loughland, Paul Martin and Professor Davison had the privilege of congratulating those schools and organisations in the education community who have given outstanding support to UNSW School of Education staff and/or students for research, teaching and/or other education-related projects in 2016. Nominated by our own Academic Staff, key representatives who worked alongside them accepted the awards on behalf of their school/ organisation.

"Santa Sabina College, under the leadership of Dr Maree Herrett and with support from an expert and generous staff, has been an active and constant participant in multi-year research programs conducted by Professor Martin’s team in the School of Education’s Educational Psychology Research Group. Santa Sabina’s involvement has been exemplary in that it has enabled us to implement research methodologies that are rarely implemented (due to their logistic challenges) but answer questions addressing powerful educational issues - such as investigating students’ real-time motivation and engagement and students’ motivational trajectories over time. Santa Sabina’s contributions have been extremely valuable in contributing to much needed disciplinary knowledge and educational practice. The College is truly exemplary as a research partner. It was with great pleasure and appreciation that Santa Sabina, its leadership team, its staff, and its students were nominated for the UNSW School of Education Community Engagement Award for 2017."

- Scientia Professor Andrew Martin nominating Santa Sabina College

This awards evening is a small token of our appreciation for the mammoth effort put in by many people: To the academic and professional staff within the School, who work tirelessly with the students to prepare them for their placements within schools that we have forged such strong relationships with over the years. And of course, to the schools and organisations that allow us to continue to mould our University Students into highly competent and confident Secondary teachers. It could not be done without the collective effort of all and for that, the UNSW School of Education is grateful and thankful.

Outstanding Supervising Teachers

  • Linden Earl - Quakers Hill High School
  • Joanna Kyprianou - Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College
  • Mary Jekki - Bonnyrigg High School
  • Sarah Saunders - Barrenjoey High School
  • Helen Antoniadis - Beverly Hills Girls High School
  • Leigha Buikstra - Nowra High School
  • Jeffrey de Rooy - Sydney Technical High School
  • Catharina Simmonds - Mosman High School
  • Stephen Asher - Fort Street High School
  • Todd Alexander - Rose Bay Secondary College
  • Sarah Robinson - Matraville Sports High School

Community Engagement Award recipients

  • Sydney Boys High School
  • Santa Sabina College
  • Beverly Hills Girls High School
  • South Sydney High School
  • Beverly Hills Intensive English Centre
  • Self Advocacy Sydney Inc.
  • Australian Association for the Education of the Gifted
    and Talented (AAEGT)
  • NSW Department of Education
  • NSW Department of Juvenile Justice