National Excellence in Teaching Awards highlight efforts of outstanding ECEC educators
Four outstanding early childhood educators have been recognised for their efforts and commitment to the early childhood education and care (ECEC) profession in the National Excellence in Teaching Awards (NEiTA), run by the Australian Scholarships Group (ASG).
Talented, committed and caring, the educators were part of a broader group of 12, spanning early childhood, primary and secondary education, all demonstrating the excellent personal qualities, skills and passion required of educators in a fast-changing uncertain world.
Katrin Cornell, from Lindfield Learning Village, Lindfield, was joined by Blake Stewart from St Luke’s Preschool, Dapto, Lucy Nilsson from Spring Road Community Kindy, Kalamunda and Melinda Golinski, from Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School, Bunbury in the early childhood category, which covers not only preschool and kindergarten age groups, but also the first years of schooling.
NEiTA Chairman Allen Blewitt said this year’s winners showcased what it means to be an outstanding educational role model, saying he was honoured each year to see the great work of many teachers through NEiTA.
ASG CEO Ross Higgins said the 2019/20 National Excellence in Teaching Awards winners were an “inspirational group who make students want to learn”.
Recognition through a NEiTA nomination, he added, is proof that members of educational communities of all types acknowledge and value the contribution of teachers.
“The current climate of uncertainty highlights how valuable teachers are and the critical role they play, especially when students are feeling stressed or anxious,” Mr Higgins added.
Mr Stewart, the only male winner in the early years space, was chosen based on the individual learning plans and goals he develops for his students, in collaboration with the child, the child’s family and allied health professionals including occupational therapists and psychologists.
St Luke’s is a part of the Early Learning STEM Australia (ELSA) Pilot Program, which Mr Stewart leads within the setting, working alongside his colleagues, community and other preschools to embed STEM concepts into everyday practice.
As well as his work within St Luke’s, Mr Stewart is a leading advocate for the presence and support of men in early childhood education, having established a networking group which actively encourages men to consider opportunities in the early childhood education sector. Local TAFE and universities also seek him out to mentor or supervise pre-service male educators, so they can have a positive experience in the early stages of their career.
To learn more about the Awards, please see here.