Theodore Primary School Principal Debbie Martens holds their award

Theodore Primary School Principal Debbie Martens with their ACT School Leader of the Year award.

28 January 2022

Canberra kids aren’t the only people returning to schools this week. Teachers, principals, education support workers and school-based volunteers have returned to classrooms across Canberra.

Many of these educators were recognised for their exceptional work at the recent ACT Public Education Awards.

The awards acknowledge those who go above and beyond in their roles to ensure all children receive high quality public education.

Read on to hear more about some of the 2021 award winners across Canberra.

Tuggeranong

Theodore Primary School Principal Debbie Martens (pictured above) was named ACT School Leader of the Year.

The award recognises Debbie's passion, fairness, honesty and fantastic sense of humour that she brings to her leadership role.

It's these attributes that have seen her forge positive relationships with the school community and take an effective new approach to communication, community events and resourcing.

Telopea Park School’s Caitlin Sillar with their award

Central

Telopea Park School’s Caitlin Sillar was named joint winner in the New Educator of the Year at the awards.

Caitlin teaches two year 4 classes in a bilingual setting with her French counterpart.

She was recognised for bringing passion and fun to her lessons and creating connections to students’ cultures.

Elouyze Nucifora-Ryan, a teacher from Gold Creek School, smiles with their award

Gungahlin

Elouyze Nucifora-Ryan was the other joint winner of the New Educator of the Year award.

Working at Gold Creek School, Elouyze works hard to support student learning and wellbeing, including delivering the school’s first ‘Wellbeing Expo’. This saw students learn wellbeing strategies and take part in activities focused on social support and mental health.

University of Canberra High School Kaleen teacher Rourke O’Sullivan with their award

Belconnen

From the University of Canberra High School Kaleen, Rourke O’Sullivan was named Secondary Teacher of the Year.

Rourke was recognised for bringing an authentic First Nations lens to all his classes and modifying curriculum and programs to engage students from diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Rourke’s approach to focussing on students as agents in their own learning demonstrates his commitment to his students and their learning.

Curtin Primary School’s Kathryn Simone with their award

Woden, Weston Creek and Molonglo Valley

Curtin Primary School’s Kathryn Simone was named Primary Teacher of the Year.

The award recognises Kathryn's delivery of a range of mental health programs to help educators develop a positive, inclusive and resilient school community.

Her work includes guiding the school’s P&C-led mental health initiatives and running a lunch club where students learn about mental health awareness.

Debbie, Caitlin, Elouyze, Rourke and Kathryn are all part of a great network of teachers across Canberra making every public school a great school.

For the full list of award winners, please visit: https://www.education.act.gov.au/about-us/all-news-and-news-alerts/news-items/november-2021/2021-public-education-awards

All Canberra

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