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Catholic school educators honoured at awards


Twelve outstanding educators from around the State – and a dog – have been recognised in the inaugural Catholic Education Awards announced this month.

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The awards, which were celebrated as part of Catholic Education Week, acknowledge outstanding achievements and contributions by staff and volunteers across South Australia’s 103 Catholic schools.

Those honoured include a volunteer aged in his eighties, who has given more than 20 years of support to students as a tutor and mentor; a principal who joined a small school with 102 students as a teacher and 17 years later leads the same school which now has three campuses and 1800 students; two teachers in regional SA recognised for their excellence in teaching; and a grounds manager for his work that includes supporting school partnerships with an Aboriginal community and students in India.

Two school programs were also on the winners list. The Wellbeing Program at St Joseph’s Renmark was an award recipient for its innovative approach which includes a therapy dog named Charlie and a partnership with a local GP. The Ecological Program at Tenison Woods College, Mt Gambier, is a student-led initiative that is on track to see the school achieve zero waste by 2025 and zero reliance on the energy grid by 2030.

The award categories were: Early Career Teacher (less than five years); Experienced Teacher; Education Support; Volunteer Supporter; Innovative Program; Leadership/Lifelong Contribution.

Winners were announced at an evening event held at Sacred Heart College on May 12, which was attended by representatives from CESA and invited guests, including Education Minister Blair Boyer.

At the awards ceremony, from left, Susan Young, CESA assistant director; Nichii Mardon, director, Catholic Education Diocese of Port Pirie; Phil Proctor, CESA assistant director; John Mula, CESA deputy director; John Favretto, CESA assistant director; Jill Gowdie, CESA assistant director; Neil McGoran, CESA director; Denis Ralph, chair, South Australian Commission for Catholic Schools.

Spokesperson for the awards, Catholic Education SA deputy director, John Mula, said every award recipient had gone “above and beyond”.

“They are a wonderful example of the unwavering commitment to Catholic education shown by staff and volunteers in our 103 school communities across the State,” he said.

“Our awardees demonstrate the extraordinary outcomes that can be achieved when people are passionate about teaching and learning.

“At Catholic Education South Australia we really care about our students – we’re keen to see every young person in our schools thrive. These awards shine a light on the incredible lengths our staff and volunteers will go to support the learning and wellbeing of our students.”

For a full list of winners go to: Awards | Award Recipients 2022 | CESA


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