Region’s educators’ qualities recognised 

TWO of the top teachers in the New England have been named winners at the inaugural Quality Teaching Awards.

Teachers from Armidale and Inverell are among 44 exemplary school and TAFE educators from around the state who were recognised for their contributions to quality education with an inaugural Minister’s Quality Teaching Award yesterday.

Diane Veersema, the head teacher of English at Inverell’s Macintyre High School, and Graham Hemmings, the head teacher of science at Armidale High School, were acknowledged for their contribution to quality teaching at the awards ceremony. 

As recipients of their awards Ms Veersema and Mr Hemmings joined other Quality Teaching Award recipients across the state who were presented with the prestigious awards for excellence in teaching by Education Minister  Adrian Piccoli at the  ceremony in Sydney.

“We know that teaching is the single largest in-school predictor of success at school, and this is equally true for TAFE students,” Mr Piccoli said.

“It is what teachers know, do and care about which is a very powerful influence in teaching.

“Great teachers have a rich repertoire of teaching strategies and know how and when to use these strategies to optimise learning.

“What impresses me particularly is the rich variety of skills, interests and achievement shown by these teachers, who have earned the respect of their colleagues, principals, institute directors and 

communities.“The school and TAFE teachers who are the recipients of the 2012 Minister’s Quality Teaching Award are to be congratulated for their outstanding work in our NSW public schools and TAFE institutes.”

The citation for Ms Veersema’s award read: “Diane Veersema is an outstanding and highly respected head teacher who has taught all levels of secondary school English over a long and distinguished career. 

“She provides a learning environment that allows all students to achieve to their potential. 

“Diane is a highly competent user of technology and quality learning strategies. Her students’ results reflect her extensive curriculum knowledge and highly effective teaching.”

Mr Hemmings’ citation praised his “exemplary ability to provide enhanced learning outcomes for students across all science courses at Armidale”.

“This has been achieved through his outstanding influence on the teaching practice of the science faculty. Graham has led his faculty in achieving improved results in all the science courses for the Higher School Certificate.”

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