The 2016 CHOOSEMATHS Teacher Awards were presented on the 26th August 2016.
The awards recognised Australia’s most inspiring teachers of mathematics, those who go beyond the classroom and encourage and inspire the next generation of mathematical leaders through creative and innovative practice and mentorship.
As we continue to tackle the gender divide in mathematics, the program offered two top prizes for teachers who fostered the mathematical talents of Australian girls in addition to eight teaching excellence awards.
Mentoring Girls in Mathematics
Mabel Park State High School, QLD
Stacey has integrated experiences and competitions to enhance mathematics learning and awareness of real world applications, including Engineers without Borders, Dreamworld, Robotics 3D printing, and the Logan Maths Competition and Garden Project. As well as leading the school’s National Science and Maths week celebrations, she has established enrichment initiatives such as the Maths Science Academy (MSA) and STEMfare. Held in conjunction with local and neighbouring schools, STEMfare features STEM and Maths activities such as augmented reality ‘sandbox’, drones, Spiderbots and Lego EV3s demonstrations.
Penrhos College, Como, WA
Peter’s leadership, passion and creativity have made an indelible impact on the Penrhos school community. For over 12 years he has engaged, challenged, and mentored girls to help them reach their full mathematical potential. Transforming maths at Penrhos, he has spearheaded initiatives such as successful maths extension program, MathsMentorProgram@Penrhos, partnership activities with Harry Perkin’s Institute of Medical Research, national and international enrichment linkages, and an annual mathematics celebration. Making the world his classroom, he has demonstrated that maths is truly more than just numbers.
Mabel Park State High School, QLD
Penrhos College, Como, WA
St Leonards College, Brighton, VIC
Greg’s nomination by three female students and their families, highlights his profound impact on their learning experience and the St Leonards College community. For 30 years he has instilled a love of learning and a ‘can do’ attitude in his students, particularly girls, equipping them with the mathematical foundations to thrive and succeed. Now a specialised Year 5 and 6 Maths Teacher and House Tutor, he continues to mentor, inspire and challenge. Beyond the classroom he equips parents to support confidence and learning at home.
Makybe Rise Primary School, Baldivis, WA
Embedded within the school mathematics leadership program, Jacki’s professional learning sessions have enhanced staff instructional capacity and boosted knowledge and maths teaching confidence to the benefit of students. As a maths coach and mentor to her colleagues at Makybe Rise Primary School, Jacki provides mentoring to three or four staff members from across a variety of year levels and backgrounds. As well as improving pedagogy and reducing teaching anxiety, this continues to drive improvement in the school’s mathematical education performance.
Mary Mackillop Catholic Regional College, Leongatha, VIC
Since joining the team at Mary Mackillop Catholic Regional College, Lisa has transformed mathematics achievement and participation. Under her stewardship, VCE results have undergone a significant transformation with accelerated Year 10 mathematics classes providing a strong foundation for student success. Lisa has expanded the school’s maths program to include the Australian Mathematics Competition, as well as enrichment programs such as the Tuesday Soup Kitchen and tutoring program as well as Thursday Senior Maths Help. A strong mentor for girls, Lisa continues to promote mathematics as a career pathway.
Moura State High School, QLD
During her 35 years of teaching Maths at Moura State High School in regional Qld, Norah has demonstrated extraordinary dedication to helping students, particularly girls, overcome barriers to reach their full potential. Norah’s multi-level teaching approach, ensuring Maths B is always an option, has elevated student mathematics engagement. Showcasing maths and science in action within university and industry settings, her motivational excursion series, Beyond the Boundaries, continues to take students outside of their comfort zone. Improved staff access to personal development has increased teacher confidence.
Hunter School of the Performing Arts, Newcastle, NSW
Cassandra’s hugely successful Maths and Milo program provides students with a positive supported space to study, complete homework and work on assignments. Her energy and enthusiasm has strengthened the school’s ties with the University of Newcastle Young Mathematicians Program, encouraging gifted mathematicians to investigate maths at a higher level. A member of the Bachelor of Mathematics Advisory Board at the University of Newcastle she is also regularly called on to speak to final year students and pre-service teachers in the School of Education.
St. Columba Anglican School, Port Macquarie, NSW
For Janine, Maths is at its most engaging when delivered in the context of its real-world applications. As a teacher her passion lies with helping students to discover the beauty and relevance of mathematics. At St Columba, Janine has established a range of initiatives including a girls lunchtime mathematics club called The Pythagorwoman which, among other things, encourages females to consider mathematics as a career option. Over time, this has led to an increase in the percentage of girls choosing higher-level calculus courses.
St. Hilda’s School, Southport, QLD
As a teacher, Terry Jacka has one goal, to encourage her students to be confident, capable, curious and creative mathematicians. The long-time St Hilda’s mathematics teacher is a committed mentor, helping her students see the beauty and possibilities of mathematics and to overcome the barriers of self-doubt and confidence. As well as challenging her students with relevant and creative learning experiences, Terry has been a key driver of a range of initiatives to support learning achievement including tutorial sessions for all levels of mathematics.
Cherrybrook Technology High School, NSW
Head teacher of NSW’s largest secondary school, Eddie uses a modern teaching approach mixing live classroom interaction with online Maths learning through his highly popular Youtube channel, Wootube. Amassing over 2 million views globally and more than 20,000 subscribers, the channel has attracted international media attention. His peer-tutoring scheme, MathsPASS (Peer-Assisted Study Sessions), revolutionised maths for Year 7s in 2015 linking self-identified strugglers with Year 11 mentors to foster skills and confidence. Having grown by 40 per cent the program now includes Year 8 students.