WA’s top teachers, staff and schools for 2019!

  • WA’s finest educators and schools recognised at the 12th WA Education Awards today
  • Baldivis Secondary College takes home two awards
  • South-West schools shine  
  • The entire school community at Baldivis Secondary College celebrated this morning after two staff members were named among Western Australia’s top educators at the 12th WA Education Awards. 

    Baldivis Secondary College principal Keith Svendsen and hospitality teacher Tamarra Sheldon, who teaches students across the school, were named WA Secondary Principal of the Year and WA Premier’s Secondary Teacher of the Year, respectively.

    As founding principal of Baldivis Secondary College, Mr Svendsen has worked tirelessly to be an inspirational leader for both students and staff and believes that if you provide every student with academic and social support, they will rise to the challenge.

    Mr Svendsen has put in place special support for students with disability and other needs, to help them thrive.

    Ms Sheldon brings her previous experience working in top tier hotels to the classroom and kitchen environment, inspiring students towards careers in hospitality.

    She teaches students in the school’s fully-functioning commercial kitchen, café and restaurant.

    Schools in the South-West also shone this year, with Bunbury Senior High School crowned WA Secondary School of the Year.

    Vasse Primary School’s Tasmin Drummond, who teaches Years 5 and 6, was named WA Beginning Teacher of the Year, while Newton Moore Senior High School’s Lois Little won the title of WA Aboriginal and Islander Education Officer of the Year.

    For more information, visit the awards website.

    As stated by Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:

    “It is such an honour to recognise outstanding teachers, principals, schools and support staff who inspire students and provide them opportunities.

    “It’s fantastic to see school staff provide high-quality public education, by coming up with new and innovative ways to spark student learning.

    “I congratulate all the winners and finalists from across the State who really help students succeed.”

    WA Education Awards 2019 winners:

    WA Beginning Teacher of the Year, sponsored by Edith Cowan University

    Tasmin Drummond, Vasse Primary School (Years 5 and 6)

    Tasmin makes the emotional needs of her students a priority and ensures they come to and leave school with a smile on their faces. The designated school technology expert, Tasmin is the go-to teacher for coding and technology and inspires passion for technology in her students. She helped a student win an Airblock drone for the school, which now serves as a learning device. Her passion for coding also led to the hugely popular afterschool program ‘Girls can code’.

    WA Premier’s Primary Teacher of the Year, sponsored by BHP

    Jonathan Petch, Wattle Grove Primary School (Years 4 and 5)

    With a reputation for exemplary teaching, Jonathan’s very popular among the students. His experience in teaching at home and abroad has given him insights into approaching education from different viewpoints. In teaching many students with challenging behaviours and learning difficulties, disability and English as an additional language, Jonathan provides them with an ideal space to learn.

    WA Premier’s Secondary Teacher of the Year, sponsored by BHP

    Tamarra Sheldon, Baldivis Secondary College (Years 7 to 12)

    Tamarra spent 20 years working in the hospitality industry at a major hotel as assistant manager of functions before making the switch to teaching at Baldivis Secondary College in 2016. Under her instruction the school’s hospitality program has flourished, with students benefitting from her vast knowledge and experience. Tamarra helped found the Baldivis Bean Café, which is run by student chefs, baristas and wait staff. The program gives students real experience in the hospitality industry.

    WA Premier’s Excellence in Aboriginal Education Award, sponsored by BHP

    Cable Beach Primary School

    Situated on Yawuru land in the heart of the Kimberley, Cable Beach Primary School was the second public primary school to open in Broome. With a 70 per cent Aboriginal student population and a strong emphasis on the importance of maintaining links to culture and heritage, all teachers and students attend weekly Yawuru language lessons. Learning areas and classrooms are named after the Yawuru seasons, animals, fruits and events that happen during these seasons. The whole school commitment to the language program has been well received by the local community and has helped foster a fantastic relationship with local people.

    WA Primary Principal of the Year, sponsored by Fotoworks

    Lisa Ledger, Baynton West Primary School

    Principal of Baynton West Primary School since its 2013 inception, Lisa carries out lunch duty every day with a school of 830 students. She knows every child by name and is a very active principal. She has forged a strong personal and working relationship with the local indigenous people, overseeing an Aboriginal playgroup, which has been a key to increasing enrolments of Aboriginal students. An effective and nurturing principal, Lisa sets high standards for her students and staff, working alongside them to help them achieve their goals.

    WA Secondary Principal of the Year, sponsored by Teachers Mutual Bank

    Keith Svendsen, Baldivis Secondary College

    Like his father and grandfather before him, Keith quickly became interested in sharing his curiosity of learning with others and worked as a teacher for several years before becoming a principal. He’s an exemplary principal who has helped to create strong partnerships and links with the local community. From this, Keith ensures Baldivis Secondary College students have meaningful real life experiences and feel a deep and genuine sense of connection and belonging not just to their school, but to the community in which they live. 

    WA Education Assistant of the Year, sponsored by Beilby Downing Teal

    Cassandra Wilson, Dawul Remote Community School

    Providing expert assistance in a remote school in the Doon Doon community, Cassandra is an outstanding role model and educator who recognises the needs of every student. She worked one-on-one with a kindergarten student who was non-verbal and experienced other learning barriers. Thanks to Cassandra’s work, the student developed their verbal communication skills, could ask questions, express emotions and work alongside others. She also helped found the Dawul School Art Gallery to allow students to express themselves in different ways and be creative.

    WA Aboriginal and Islander Education Officer of the Year, sponsored by Kinetic IT

    Lois Little, Newton Moore Senior High School

    With a wealth of experience in education, Lois is an excellent mentor and coach for students. Since joining Newton Moore Senior High School in 2010, she introduced a pilot program to work together alongside the local community called ‘Taking students back to country’, where students met with Elders in the bush setting to learn more about their Noongar culture. In her role, she visits local primary schools to forge strong relationships and rapport with students about to join secondary school. Lois recently took up a new position at Eaton Community College.

    WA School Services Staff Member of the Year, sponsored by Modis

    Christine Dullard, Shenton College Deaf Education Centre

    A pioneer for deaf education at Shenton College, Christine has worked in the school’s Deaf Education Centre since its inception. Managing educational interpreters, note takers and mentors, she thrives on seeing the positive impact staff make on student education and wellbeing. Christine also works closely with the families of her students and is often a safe haven for support when they feel anxious or upset.

    WA Primary School of the Year, sponsored by Teachers Health

    Caladenia Primary School

    Caladenia Primary School is more than just a school – it’s like a family. The students love the nurturing atmosphere their teachers and staff create. From the principal to the gardener, everyone at the school takes responsibility for the education of their students. More than 60 per cent of students come from non-English speaking backgrounds and their parents often struggle to speak English too. The school developed a multi-lingual interpretive website to help bridge the language barrier, which now allows all parents to keep up with notices, dates of events and interpretation of school newsletters in their home language. The school values inclusivity, holding leadership opportunities for students as young as six in the whole-school student council. Caladenia Primary School also has a targeted focus on non-academic facets of the curriculum where it runs a music program in partnership with parents and staff, who all understand that music helps students improve academically. Caladenia Primary School staff pride themselves on preparing students with the emotional intelligence and academic ability to make a difference in the world.

    WA Secondary School of the Year, sponsored by Community News

    Bunbury Senior High School

    Bunbury Senior High School is a culturally responsive school which has built collaborative relationships between school staff, Aboriginal students and communities. The school is proudly part of the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience, that brings Elders from the community together with Aboriginal students. These initiatives are actively improving the outcomes and sense of identity for the Indigenous students at the school. The staff at Bunbury Senior High School are committed, engaged and passionate about providing the best opportunities for the students in their care. This is evident in the variety of camps, excursions and events that are offered by the school, and in the number of teachers who sacrifice their own time to work with and mentor students. The school runs a number of programs that students benefit from including the Bunbury Elite Sports Training program which grows future athletes. Each year several students are selected into WA or Australian sporting teams. The program is an outstanding initiative that supports students to successfully transition into sporting careers beyond school.

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