The awards honour teaching excellence, particularly when it comes to mentoring girls.
This year’s top award winner was Ashley Stewart, Head of Mathematics at Newton Moore Senior High School in Western Australia.
Stewart was awarded the Mentoring Girls in Mathematics award, after driving her school to enter three teams in the International Mathematical Modeling Challenge, including the school’s first all-girls team.
She also had significant success with the implementation of an engineering program, designed to successfully engage Indigenous students, which make up a large part of the school’s population.
Keith Barnett of Epping North Public School in New South Wales was awarded Outstanding Primary Teacher, for his work teaching maths in an engaging and accessible way.
Barnett was noted for giving his students real-world context for maths, through classroom-industry engagement and links to current events.
Joanne Wilcher, principal of Epping North Public School, congratulated Barnett for his success.
“This is an outstanding achievement and I congratulate Mr Barnett for his hard work and dedication in the teaching of mathematics,” she said.
The award for Outstanding Secondary Teacher was given to Patricia Hosking of St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School in Queensland.
Hosking was recognised for her innovative and adaptive teaching methods, and her focus on adapting content delivery to fit student understanding.
Outside of these major awards, seven other teachers received Teaching Excellence Awards.
They were Vanessa Fay of the Australian Science and Mathematics School, South Australia; Sam Hardwicke of Turner School, Australian Capital Territory; Anthony Martin of Chatham High School, New South Wales; Amanda Cassidy of St Patrick’s Primary School in Wangaratta, Victoria; Con Tsitos of Blaxland High School, New South Wales; Sally Tweddle of Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Victoria and Elizabeth Lonergan of Beth Rivkah Ladies College, Victoria.
The Teaching Excellence Award winners were recognised for using an array of innovative and engaging teaching methods, including the establishment of STEM clubs and the development of special programs to improve girls' participation in maths.
Sam Hardwicke was among those singled out for praise by his school, with Turner School Principal Jo Padgham writing that “Sam inspires every child, every teacher and every parent who has ever attended one of our Numeracy Parent workshops.”
The top award included $20,000 for Ashley Stewart to share with her school, while Keith Barnett and Patricia Hosking received $10,000 each, with half of that going to their schools’ maths programs.
Each of the Teaching Excellence Award winners received $1000.