2019 Choose Maths Award Winners

Congratulations to all of the 2019 Choose Maths Award Winners.

Now in their third year, the 2019 awards attracted an overwhelming response with more teacher nominations and student video entries than ever.

Thank you to everyone who took part and we look forward to seeing you again in 2020.

2019 Choose Maths Award Winners

Teacher Awards

Mentoring Girls in Maths

The Mentoring Girls in Mathematics Award recognises one teacher who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in inspiring and fostering the participation of girls in mathematics.

The judging panel will select the awardee based on their demonstrated capacity to encourage, guide and inspire students by providing ongoing mentoring support.

Louise Puslednik

St Matthews Catholic School, NSW

Louise’s passion for mathematics and its relevance to the real world is intoxicating. Within just five years of teaching in the Bathurst region, Louise has significantly seized new opportunities to shape the way mathematics is taught and learnt.

Louise created a local Engineering, Maths and Science Careers Expo and facilitates senior students to host astronomy nights and events during Science Week. Most notably, she also designed and implemented an innovative research partnership with the University of Sydney Research Mentor Program, where students are involved in conducting scientific research into breast cancer detection.

Louise’s dedication, drive and passion to pursue a more practical approach to mathematical learning is now extending to other teachers at St Matthews Catholic School, as well as teachers of other schools in the Bathurst region. Louise is a testament to the power that one individual teacher can have in creating real-world learning and bringing maths to life.

Outstanding Secondary Teacher

The CHOOSEMATHS Outstanding Secondary Teacher Award recognises an exemplary and innovative teacher, who has been instrumental in encouraging students to continue with their study of mathematics.

This teacher will be an engaging and passionate communicator of mathematics, who inspires students to see the beauty and importance of mathematics.

Deb Woodard-Knight

Walford Anglican School for Girls, SA

Deb lives and breathes Mathematics. She has over 38 years of experience in mathematics education and is a leader in both teaching and peer mentoring. Since her arrival at Walford two years ago, Deb has instigated a MathsCraft Club for Junior School students. During these sessions, students are encouraged to apply problem solving strategies to open ended maths problems. She also teaches Year 11 and 12 IB and SACE courses and inspires students to pursue Specialist Mathematics in senior years as well as to university level, by demonstrating how mathematics is related in the real world. Deb provides advice on appropriate future pathways, including STEM related university courses.

Deb is also a distinguished mentor to colleagues. She has provided professional development to teachers in MathsCraft and runs professional learning sessions to support her colleagues throughout the state.

Best of all, Deb is also often found wearing mathematics inspired T- shirts, shoes and socks. Even her clothing reflects her love for maths.

Outstanding Primary Teacher

The CHOOSEMATHS Outstanding Primary Teacher Award recognises a primary school teacher whose influence and passion has successfully enhanced the experience of learning mathematics for students. The teacher will be a leader in creative and engaging practice, who fosters a positive environment in which students are able to flourish and achieve success.

Ryan Jellie & Elizabeth Dewar

Boneo Primary School, VIC

Ryan and Liz are passionate educators who are transforming the way students and teachers view the learning and teaching of maths in their school. After discovering that student outcomes in mathematics were on a downward trend, they developed a plan to transform maths instruction and improve student engagement.

Together, they conducted a full mathematics audit and with the support of the Principal secured additional budget to purchase resources for the classrooms. In a stunning move to increase engagement, they staged a crashed meteor site in the school’s gardens. Students participated in a range of learning experiences from research projects about space to calculating the size of the meteor. Additionally, they staged three dig sites with dinosaur bones, each class took turns to visit the dig sites and draw and measure the fossils.

Ryan and Liz have also assisted in upskilling colleagues in extending prompts and questioning to encourage students to take their learning deeper.

Teacher Excellence Awards

The CHOOSEMATHS Teaching Excellence Awards recognise seven of Australia’s leading mathematics teachers.

The awardees have been selected based on their demonstrated capacity to engage and inspire students using innovative practice, or for providing ongoing mentoring support.

Diana Agnew
Naracoorte High School, SA

Samantha Dodras
Churchlands Senior High School, WA

Thom Mutton
Daramalan College, ACT

Melinda Golinski
Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School, WA

Chris Niven
Sheldon College, QLD

Kate Petchell
Dowerin District High School, WA

Jess Szalek
Hillsmeade Primary School, VIC

Student Awards

Best Junior Video

Indiana Jones and the Maths Crusade
Rossmoyne Primary School, WA

COCO CHAMPION / AMACIA MATHEWS / SUFEI SHANG

Join the Dr Jones sisters on their adventurous crusade as they travel through time from the 19th century to 2019. Along the way they show people how to solve everyday problems through the power of maths.

Best Intermediate Video

We need to start
Danebank An Anglican School for Girls, NSW

NADIA ELSAYED / ADINA TAN / SABINA XIE / ALDORA BUI

Isn’t it amazing how many of the beautiful things in our world are made possible because of maths? In this video, the students from Danebank an Anglican School for Girls show us how maths is necessary and needed in order to save our world from global environmental issues.

Best Senior Video

Made It
Trinity Lutheran College, QLD

DANIEL EINHORN / TABITHA CLARK / SHAYLI HARRIS / RHYS D’SOUZA

Rhys is running late to meet his friend at the mall because he is stuck in detention. In a race against the clock, Rhys uses Kara, an artificial intelligence super-computer, who uses maths to help him navigate the fastest route to the mall and get him there in time.

Student Excellence Awards

Maths Makes Everything Possible…and More! – Junior
Matthew Flinders Anglican College, QLD

Colour In Our World – Junior
Downlands College, QLD

Maths Of The Mind – Intermediate
St Matthews Catholic School, NSW

Why Penguins Huddle?  – Intermediate
Mary MacKillop College, SA

From the Past to the Future – Senior
Ferny Grove State High School, QLD

Maths Summed Up – Senior
Centenary State High School, QLD

Maths Makes Everything Possible – Senior
Margaret River Senior High School, WA

2019 Choose Maths Award Winners

Diana Agnew
Naracoorte High School, SA

Diana has spent most of her career in country schools, where she has had significant influence in improving numeracy outcomes of secondary students, both at the school and regional level.

Diana has driven pedagogical change within Naracoorte High School. She was pivotal in galvanising the faculty to provide additional support to students outside of class. Help sessions are now held during lunch and after school and Diana also runs early morning sessions to allow students additional support. This is a hugely valued contribution to their learning, as expressed by many of her students.

As numeracy coach from 2013 – 2018, Diana improved teaching programs in order to cater for the wide range of student abilities entering high school. She introduced the Reframing Maths Futures program, run from RMIT University. The impact of this program on student outcomes is evident – with increases of student engagement in the classroom and improvement of student resilience and understanding in class.

2019 Choose Maths Award Winners

Samantha Dodras
Churchlands Senior High School, WA

Mathematics is truly alive at Churchlands Senior High School thanks to the hard work and passion of Samantha. She is determined to make a difference and has successfully rolled out several initiatives at the school. She developed an after-school maths club where she runs workshops on mathematical modelling, programming and simulations. Samantha also set up a math lab room, trains Mathematical Olympiad teams, collaborates with the school’s STEM club and runs Maths Week, where she designs mathematical challenges and activities.

Samantha has proposed ideas to improve the Australian Mathematics Curriculum, mentored students to co-write articles for the AAMT journal and collaborated with Murdoch University to run research on implementation of differentiation in maths classrooms. She is also undertaking postgraduate study in International Education at the University of Melbourne and is writing a thesis on “Teaching Thinking in Mathematics.”

2019 Choose Maths Award Winners

Thom Mutton
Daramalan College, ACT

Thom is an experienced and passionate teacher of mathematics and has been teaching at Daramalan College since 1988. In the classroom he puts fun, interesting and stimulating content into his lessons and shares his enthusiasm with his students.

Thom has developed and refined many programs to encourage the involvement, passion and continuation of studies in maths. This includes lunchtime tutorials, senior maths tutors and a maths noticeboard – full of jokes, a “problem of the week” and upcoming events and opportunities. Thom developed a Pi Day recitation competition where students learn at least 20 digits of Pi, with house points up for grabs. There is a perpetual trophy for the student who recites the most digits with the highest number being 420. Thom also developed Dara 7s – a knockout style competition where students complete mental computations based on the number 7.

2019 Choose Maths Award Winners

Melinda Golinski
Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School, WA

Melinda is a passionate and enthusiastic teacher who has a true love of learning. She believes that furthering one’s own personal development is essential for every teacher. She lives by the philosophy–“How can we teach children the importance of learning, if we are not also embracing a love of learning ourselves?”. She is currently undertaking a research based Master’s Degree in Science and Mathematics Education, focusing on developing a professional learning model to increase female teachers’ self-efficacy for STEM education. She has coordinated the South West Primary Teachers Conference since 2018 and presented at many conferences and staff meetings. She is also working towards being recognised as a “Highly Accomplished” teacher within BCGS and gain accreditation as a “Lead Teacher” by AITSL.

Melinda recognises the importance of STEM and makes subjects engaging and enjoyable for her class. She has created many initiatives to make learning more fun, such as getting students to work out buoyancy, weight and drag, when the school held a boat race.

2019 Choose Maths Award Winners

Chris Niven
Sheldon College, QLD

Chris genuinely loves teaching mathematics and is a true master of his craft. He is committed to going the extra mile to ensure students reach their full potential no matter their ability. Chris developed an after-college extension program as a co-curricular program called MathsX to stretch high achieving maths students in an appropriate context. He also developed an online platform for Middle College students to be challenged and extended in mathematics called MC-Squared. Furthermore, Chris implemented a “Maths Clinic” club to support struggling students with an after-school program focusing on numeracy.

Chris is equally committed to the development of his colleagues. He films his lessons and allows teachers to view the footage for flipped learning, professional development and reflective practice. Furthermore, Chris has led many professional development sessions for his faculty and beyond. Topics include but are not limited to – Integration of ICT’s in mathematics; What does ‘Extension’ look like and Swivl in Mathematics for teacher reflection.

2019 Choose Maths Award Winners

Kate Petchell
Dowerin District High School, WA

Kate’s dedication for mathematics education has resulted in her being a curriculum leader not only at Dowerin District High School, but also in Western Australia. She cultivates a positive mindset towards the learning of maths, using phrases such as ‘you can’t do it yet’, ‘we learn from our mistakes’ and ‘when we struggle our brains are growing’ to build student confidence.

Kate organises sessions for parents to learn simple activities that can be used at home. These sessions help to build parents’ confidence in their ability to engage with their child and support student development in maths at home.

Kate enthusiastically engages in her own personal development of mathematics knowledge and teaching practices, willingly giving up her time and resources to do so. She engages in webinars, attends conferences and most importantly puts into practice what she has learnt and readily shares with staff from Dowerin District High School and beyond.

2019 Choose Maths Award Winners

Jess Szalek
Hillsmeade Primary School, VIC

From pre-service teaching to leading the school – Jess has enhanced the learning of mathematics at Hillsmeade Primary School.

After finding out that there was a concern with Year 4-6 girls in the learning of maths and science, Jess collaborated with the STEM learning specialist to implement two lunchtime clubs: STEM GEMS – a girls only club for Year 4 students and the STEM Agency – a club for Year 5/6 students that promotes STEM curriculum areas.

Jess is passionate about building a community perspective around mathematics. She has written songs about the importance of maths goals and has created a display corridor to ensure that student understanding and learning of maths is visible throughout the school.

Jess is committed to supporting fellow teachers. She helps them build their confidence and capacity in teaching mathematics by visiting classes, conducting lesson observations, modelling lessons and running lunchtime clubs.

Start typing and press Enter to search