Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong was well and proudly represented at the 2019 Teachers' Guild of NSW Awards night, with two key awards conferred on CEDoW staff – John Therry Rosemeadow Science Coordinator, Dr Aidan Johnson, and St Joseph's Albion Park early career teacher, Zachary Ellul.
The awards evening saw 230 guests, including NSW Minister for Education and Childhood Learning, the Hon. Sarah Mitchell MP, gather at Concord Golf Club last Friday. The annual event coincides with World Teachers’ Day, celebrating the outstanding professional contribution to education made by a select group of teachers across the different sectors and stages of education.
President of the Teachers’ Guild of NSW, Dr Fredrick Osman, congratulated the award recipients on their incredible achievements. “The Guild greatly admires the commitment of teachers in enhancing their professional knowledge, improving teaching practice, finding new ways to engage with students, and developing and fostering relationships with the wider community,” he said.
“This important occasion allows us to celebrate and acknowledge the achievements of all our teachers in an increasingly complex, multicultural and technological society.”
World Teachers' Recognition Award – Dr Aidan Johnson
Congratulations to John Therry Catholic High School, Rosemeadow Science Coordinator, Dr Aidan Johnson, on receiving a Teachers' Guild of NSW World Teachers' Recognition Award, honouring teachers on World Teachers' Day who have made a wonderful contribution to their school in advancing the education profession.
Dr Johnson received the award in recognition of the “exceptional leadership in scientific theory and practice-based teaching and learning which he brings to the John Therry Catholic High School community”.
He works closely with universities to bring ‘real science’ into the classroom for students to thrive, with initiatives such as the Amgen Biotech Experience for Year 10 students, linking Science Extension students with mentors in the science field, and connecting with universities for depth studies and sourcing equipment to allow students to extend their scientific studies and research.
Dr Johnson said being recognised with this award reinforces the important work being done by the Science faculty at John Therry in developing their students' scientific skills and understanding.
“I’m very proud of how we’ve restructured our Science programs at John Therry to ensure students are doing science rather than just learning about science. I am thankful to my staff who have worked hard alongside me to bring about this positive shift in pedagogy” — Dr Aidan Johnson, Science Coordinator, John Therry Rosemeadow
“I also thank Dr Katarina Mikac from the University of Wollongong for nominating me for this award.”
Principal, Wayne Marshall, praised his Science Coordinator as a worthy recipient of this special Teachers' Guild of NSW acknowledgement.
“Aidan Johnson has been a wonderful addition to the John Therry teaching staff. He has brought enthusiasm and a willingness to seek improvement in the Science faculty as Coordinator, and supports his staff with hard work and strategic thinking” — Wayne Marshall, Principal, John Therry Rosemeadow
Early Years of Teaching (Secondary School) Award – Zachary Ellul
Congratulations also to St Joseph's Catholic High School, Albion Park teacher, Zachary Ellul, for winning the Teachers' Guild of NSW Award for Teachers in their Early Years of Teaching (Secondary School).
Since joining the Science faculty at St Joseph's in 2017, Mr Ellul has superbly managed the challenges that beginning teachers face in their first years – especially considering his teaching has primarily been in a subject area outside his PDHPE training. He has also taken on the role of Sports Coordinator, run STEM day activities, attended camps and retreats, and built excellent relationships with staff and students.
A former Joey’s student himself, Mr Ellul was also recognised for his outstanding contribution and commitment to the school, its staff and students when he took out the inaugural ‘Outstanding Early Career Teacher - Secondary’ Award at the 2017 CEDoW Lighting the Way Faith and Learning Awards.
The young teacher said he was honoured and humbled to have been recognised by the NSW Teachers' Guild.
“It is of particular importance to me to have been nominated by my colleagues in the St Joseph’s Science faculty and our Assistant Principal, Mrs Jenny Bell. I was incredibly touched that they, in the busyness of school life, found the time to recognise my achievements” — Zachary Ellul, teacher, St Joseph’s Albion Park
“It’s also amazing that they made the trip to Concord Golf Club to support me on the awards evening and celebrate my nomination, regardless of the outcome," he said.
After submitting a written application and attending an interview, Mr Ellul was placed on a shortlist and invited to attend the event as an award nominee. When he was announced as the winner, the full table of Science faculty staff members there in support went wild!
St Joseph’s Albion Park Assistant Principal, Jenny Bell, said Mr Ellul is an outstanding early-career Science teacher who has also been an enthusiastic leader as Diocesan Sports Coordinator at St Joseph's.
“Zac is a most passionate and capable educator who knows his students and models integrity and care for the wellbeing of both his students and colleagues. He exemplifies diligence and humility, and models how to form quality relationships with students, parents and colleagues to bring about student success in academic, cultural and sporting pursuits” — Jenny Bell, Assistant Principal, St Joseph’s Albion Park
“This has culminated in Zac becoming a most highly respected and inspirational teacher and colleague in our school community,” Mrs Bell added.
Congratulations to Aidan and Zachary on their well-deserved nominations and award success. Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong and your schools, colleagues and students are fortunate to have you!
For more information on the Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales and ‘The Guild Awards’, visit https://www.teachersguild.nsw.edu.au/awards