Flinders Island High School teacher Holly Barnewall is the proud recipient of the Faculty of Education Teaching Excellence Award for 2012, a category of the 2012 Southern Cross Young Achiever Awards.
Holly was presented with her award on the 21st of April at a Gala event at Wrest Point, Hobart.
The Faculty of Education Teaching Excellence Award searched for recipients who were young, innovative, passionate teachers, no older than 28 years of age who are making a difference to youth and their community.
Holly’s nomination explained how she has embraced the challenges faced by Flinders Island youth.
Not only does Holly teach in English, SOSE and the arts but her curriculum vitae lists many additional projects/activities that the has been involved with during her two years back on Flinders Island such as;
- working with the Island Youth Officer in providing “drug-free” afterschool and weekend activities;
- connecting students to support services, on the island and in Launceston;
- introducing a “transition” subject for the grade 10 students who depart the island for senior secondary school;
- coordinating an international student exchange program that incorporates continued contact with the participants after they return home;
- rewriting the high school English, SOSE and related arts programs to be more relevant and exciting;
- leading the development of an end of school movie and magazine that everyone on the island sees;
- becoming Entertainment Manager for the Flinders Island Show committee where she has partitioned for activities for younger people;
- leads student council;
- organised and assisted students in the UTAS Student Voices project;
- hosting Friday afternoon music jam sessions with the students.
“Holly is a young person who was educated on Flinders Island, who travelled outside of the island to train as a teacher, and returned to share her experience. In doing so she provides a wonderful role model for the community that it is possible to achieve at a very high level, despite and in spite of where you live and that, if you have a dream, and a will, everything is possible,” said principal Jan Schibrowski.
Three finalists were recognised at the event on Saturday night.
The other two were Kate Longey of Acton Park , primarily for her work in the Dominic College pilot program to engage disengaged students called “The Malone Program” and Emma Aorangi who co-ordinates the “ruMAD – Are you making a difference?” program at Rokeby High School.
“The three finalists all display excellent qualities as teachers, qualities that demonstrate their focus on students and their needs as individuals.
“All the finalists show dedication as teachers and the ability to create meaningful, exciting and productive learning environments,” said the Faculty of Education Dean, Professor Ian Hay.
Image: Professor Ian Hay with Holly Barnewall, recipient of the Faculty of Education Teaching Excellence Award for 2012.