Toby Hurd, Creative Technologies Coordinator at Mater Dei, is one of seven finalists in the ‘Teacher of the Year – Secondary’ category, after being nominated by Vice Principal, Paul Watson for his ability to embrace innovation and creativity, effectively increasing engagement from students.
“I was extremely humbled and excited when I first learnt of the nomination and being announced as a finalist in the Australian Education Awards,” Mr Hurd said.
“My passion is providing positive creative educational experiences,
“If we, as an industry, are serious about providing students with the skills and knowledge to function in the future, we need to ensure that education continues to evolve and cater for the individual needs of students in a contemporary educational landscape,
“To have this passion recognised is an honour,”
Parris Laurie, who joined the Mater Dei staff in 2019, is a finalist in the ‘Education Rising Star of the Year’ category, one of eight in the running for the honour.
Ms Laurie, who plays an integral role in the growth and development of the Mater Dei Hawks AFL Academy and the female program in particular, is also a newly appointed House Advisor.
She said that she was thrilled to be named as a finalist for the award, and was incredibly grateful to have been nominated by the College.
“Being only my second year of teaching, I never expected to be in this position,
“I’m privileged to be able to combine my passion and my career, to continue challenging my students and females to exceed expectation,”
Paul Watson said Ms Laurie’s ability to form authentic relationships with students very quickly had seen her become highly respected as both a teacher and a positive role model across the wider community, as she juggled her career as a new teacher alongside her professional AFLW career with the West Coast Eagles.
Mater Dei College Principal, Annette Morey, said that she was excited, but not surprised, that two of the teachers nominated for these awards were announced as finalists.
“Toby and Parris are both phenomenal. They turn up every day with passion and see possibility and potential in all students,” she said.
“We are truly blessed to have such leaders in our community. It’s a great achievement for not only Toby and Parris but also Mater Dei College,”
Iona Presentation College is among eight schools from around Australia selected as finalists in the ‘Best Professional Learning Program’ category.
The College has been undertaking significant work on their professional learning, under the leadership of Deputy Principal, Kelly Smith, in line with their Vision for Learning.
With the aim of ensuring the College’s professional learning program amalgamates contemporary understandings of student growth with pedagogical proficiency and innovation in teaching practice, Ms Smith created and implemented Iona’s Whole College Professional Learning Plan.
The Plan, guided by the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, was developed to effectively implement 21st century learning design using the Innovative Teaching and Learning (ITL) research as a primary focus.
Through this approach to professional learning, the College is embedding a culture of continuous improvement, research, innovation and creativity as core characteristics of the school, and has begun implementing 21st Century Learning Design Rubrics to measure innovative teaching practices.
The process began by training 22 teachers to facilitate a Digital Transformation and Innovation Conference, which strengthened practices of sharing ideas and expertise, and recognising all staff members as champions of their various domains with a commitment to ongoing improvement of learning programs.
The Australian Education Awards, run by The Educator Magazine, began in 2018 and in 2020 include 23 categories recognising achievements of schools, principals, department heads and teachers in Kindergarten to Year 12 education.
The 2020 awards will be announced and presented on Friday, 6 November.