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St Mary's teacher takes the lead


She may have taken a while to get comfortable using a computer back in the 1980s, but today St Mary’s College’s technologies coordinator Giovanna Iannicelli is a leader amongst her peers.

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Late last year she was awarded Lead Teacher status by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership – the only teacher from Catholic Education in SA to receive the honour. The award recognises teachers who are respected by colleagues, parents and community members as ‘exemplary teachers’, having demonstrated consistent and innovative teaching practice over time

Starting her teaching career in 1980 at St Mary’s, Giovanna said instilling her love of technology with young minds did not come easy at first.

Initially she taught typing (on manual typewriters) and shorthand and it wasn’t until she was asked to fill in for a term to take a computer class that she was exposed to the world of new technology.

“I’ve got this ‘can do’ attitude and if I can’t do it, I’m going to learn how to do it. It took me the whole term to coordinate my hand on the mouse with the movement on the screen. I was hopeless!

“After that I think I found my niche when I discovered IT and I have such a passion for it,” she said.

Giovanna, who also taught at Siena College for some time, has been back at St Mary’s for the past 12 years where she encourages girls to “have a go” in technology.

“We’ve engendered a culture here over the years that it’s okay to have a go and it’s okay if you don’t get it right, because that’s what life is all about…teaching that resilience and those skills they will use in the workforce later on.”

She believes her greatest qualities as a teacher are trust and honesty. Having great children to teach and a wonderful team of teachers supporting her also make the job so enjoyable.

Giovanna said she had been overwhelmed by the response and messages of congratulation from the school community – including past and present students – since receiving the award.

“I am humbled by it because I don’t think I’m anything special or doing anything differently to anyone else.”




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