As a result, the school reports that attendance and engagement has increased for targeted students. The direct link to student outcomes was a key deciding factor in the panel’s decision to award the 2017 Most Outstanding Education Support Staff Membrer to Kris Angelovski, Barwon Valley School
The winner of the Most Outstanding Graduate Teacher goes to Sarah Story from Marnebek School. Sarah has widely researched and then developed a comprehensive, contemporary unit of work that focuses on legal issues around sexting, consent and the governments respectful relationships. The unit is mapped to VCAL outcomes for PSD1, PSD2 and all literacy outcomes. The unit has explicit lessons for teachers including all the resources including assessment rubrics and criteria, goals for ILPs and a VCAL quality assurance template. Sarah has developed this unit in her own time out of school hours.
The winner of the Most Outstanding Early Childhood (P-2) Teacher is Riley Corrie, Swan Hill Specialist School. All three of these nominations were of a high standard and consequently short listed. Riley Corrie was unanimously selected as the winner of the PASS Outstanding Early Childhood (P-2) Award on the basis of her significant contribution to education across a network of schools through her work with Autism Connect. Riley is an outstanding teacher who works with a challenging and diverse group of students within a rural Specialist School. Riley is a dedicated teacher who puts her students first plus supports others throughout the school. Riley took on the Autism Connect Program and currently supports teachers across 26 schools. Riley demonstrates high quality teaching practice and supports other schools to deliver differentiated learning curriculum to students with special needs. Riley regularly hosts learning walks, supports graduate teachers in their skill development while readily taking on extra duties outside of her classroom. Riley is an inspiring and outstanding practitioner.
The winner of the Most Outstanding Specialist Teacher is Christopher Goaley, Berendale School Christopher has undertaken an overhaul of the Health and Physical Education Curriculum at Berendale School. He has reinvigorated the program creating a culture where whole school participation has become the norm. His initiative has resulted in students having multiple opportunities to engage and participation in sporting activities.
The winner of the Most Outstanding Allied Health Professional Award is Mellisa Merryweather, Marnebek School Cranbourne. This award has been presented in recognition of a unit of work written by Mellisa to accompany the new sensory education playground that was built at Marnebek School Cranbourne. The panel thought Mellisa deserved to win as she had clearly worked outside of her allied health area, liaising with playground designers - researching and consulting with speech therapists to ensure the program met communication requirements of students at the school.
The Unit of work has significant relevance to students in a special education context who greatly benefit from a multi sensory approach to learning. An extensive piece of work, it has strong connections to occupational and speech therapy, play based social theories and is related to the Victorian Curriculum with links to science, thinking processes, communication and personal/social capabilities.
It is fantastic to see that Mellisa is already sharing her work with local schools who are excited to be implementing it with their own students which is further recognition of the quality of the program she has created. Congratulations Mellisa, your award is thoroughly deserved.
The winner of the Most Outstanding Team Award is Kalianna School! Engaging students with challenging behaviours is a complexity that all schools, especially specialist settings are becoming increasingly faced with. Our schools are constantly being challenged to develop new programs that engage the students of today, in a world of new technologies and advancing vocational areas. Opportunities for authentic learning experiences for those who are hard to engage is exactly what Kalianna Special School’s Student Engagement program seeks to deliver. It is truly amazing to be dedicated in providing 21 discrete programs for students to engage in, to truly keep them interested and developing their work-related skills. The strategic engagement of La Trobe University Occupational Therapists to develop a ‘screening tool checklist’ to provided an assessment that links the student to the appropriate program and track the success of the individual within the program is ingenious. It was also truly amazing to see the specific data of student engagement within the program with outstanding results in student engagement and reduction in behaviour incidents! The key, as the Kalianna Student Engagement Team points out is through “the suitability of the programs we offer, the expertise and patience of the staff we employ and the success that students are experiencing from their involvement in meaningful, engaging curriculum.” A huge congratulations goes out to the dedicated staff: Anne Fitzgerald, Erin Terrill, Bruce Salter, Heather Parkinson, Grant King, Jack Bloom, Tara Mathews, Rick Poulter, Leonie Johnston, Josh Mould and Lara Pearce, who have developed a program that any school and community would truly be proud of. Well done and all the best in future of your program!
The winner of the Most Outstanding Primary School Teacher is Wendy Edwards from Kalianna School. Wendy demonstrates an unwavering commitment to the social, emotional and academic needs of students with a disability. Her transition from mainstream to specialist education has had significant impact on the staff, students and wider community of Kalianna School.
The winner of the Most Outstanding Secondary Teacher has been awarded to Jacqui Lamden, Marnebek School Cranbourne. Jacqui’s role as a key teacher in the Senior School has enabled students to undertake individualised learning through carefully guided integrated units of work in VCAL. She mentors other staff and tertiary students undertaking their Master’s degree. Her contribution to special education is considered outstanding.
The winner of the Most Outstanding Leading Teacher Award is reserved for Dehne Anstee of Kalianna School. Dehne’s contribution to the primary learning community is outstanding due to the passion, expertise and capacity building he provides. In addition to his role as the leader of the Primary sub-school, he is deeply involved in providing professional learning for staff across the school’s network in digital technology as a learning and teaching medium.
The winner of the Most Outstanding Principal Award goes to Peter Bush, Kalianna School and President of PASS. Peter clearly follows Kalianna’s school motto ‘Unite and Inspire’ and the school values of Creative, Inclusive and Positive clearly provide the benchmark for all of his actions. His purpose, as is his school’s, is to inspire children to achieve their full potential. Peter does this leading by example, developing a range of new learning opportunities for the students and creating links with Latrobe University. The staff at Kalianna describe him as a visionary – willing to take risks in order to maintain ‘what is best for our students’ – his catch cry. As well as being an outstanding Principal, Peter has also been involved in the National Special Education agenda and served as Treasurer for the Australian Special Education Principals’ Association for a number of years. Currently in his role as President of PASS and through his leadership at a state-wide level he has been heavily involved with many stakeholder working groups with the Department of Education and Training. Peter has driven the development of a strategic plan for PASS, changed the membership of PASS to include Assistant Principals and his leadership has ensured PASS is ‘at the table’ with the other Professional Associations.
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