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National Recognition for Six Hillbrook Anglican School Teachers

Six outstanding Hillbrook Anglican School teachers have confirmed their places in the top echelons of Australia’s teaching profession.

The teachers are among the first group of 25 independent school educators to be certified by Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) as Highly Accomplished or Lead Teachers (HALT) - the highest career stages of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

Teachers Pauline Vallely (Lead), Kathy Owen (HA), Lisa Newton (HA), Tegan Baumgart (HA), Joshua Taylor (HA) and Tamara Gerlic (HA) join a growing network of high performing Australian teachers. There are currently about 500 HALT-certified teachers nationwide.

According to Mathematics teacher Pauline Vallely, teaching is “in her blood”. The experienced educator’s father was a teacher, both her sisters are teachers and her great-uncle taught in Queensland schools in the 1880s.

Ms Vallely believes teachers have the greatest impact on student learning when they have a “passion for the discipline” they teach and “a caring, respectful approach to students as individuals”.

For her colleague, Ms Baumgart, the “amazing teachers” who taught and supported her as a student inspired her to pursue teaching.

After just eight years in the profession, the Philosophy Subject Area Coordinator has already been recognised for her leadership and service to education with a 2018 Australian Council for Educational Leaders Queensland Emerging Indigenous Leader Award.

“I love a lot of things about teaching, but probably my favourite thing is watching students accomplish things they wouldn’t have without my help. I love when everything just clicks and their eyes light up with understanding and wonder,” Ms Baumgart said.

Independent school teachers seeking national certification undergo a rigorous appraisal of their teaching practice. This includes demonstrating their proficiency against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers and undergoing peer and student reviews and classroom observations.

ISQ Executive Director David Robertson congratulated the Hillbrook Anglican School Teachers on their dedication to continually challenging their own teaching practices for the benefit of their students.

“For these leading educators, teaching is their heart’s work. As a state and as a nation we need to recognise outstanding teaching practitioners and work to retain these masters of their craft in the classroom where they can make the greatest difference to student learning and progress,” Mr Robertson said.

The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) works with all certifying authorities, including ISQ, to ensure the benchmark for those being certified is maintained and offered to as many teachers as possible.

AITSL Chief Executive Officer Lisa Rodgers congratulated the sector’s first group of newly certified expert teachers and ISQ for its support of national teacher certification.

Ms Rodgers said the number of nationally certified HALTs had more than doubled from about 250 to almost 500 in the past three years, as momentum builds across the country and particularly from Queensland.

“These talented teachers have proved they are all experts who are having a profound impact on the learning lives of their students and sharing their expertise with their colleagues, and we need to celebrate them,” she said.

“AITSL welcomes all 25 new HALTs into the national HALT network and also congratulates ISQ for making the program available so that together we continue to grow the number of HALTs across Queensland to the benefit of students across the state.”

Discover what inspired the Hillbrook Anglican School educators to take up teaching, what they love most about their vocation and what taking part in ISQ’s national certification program has taught them | READ MORE

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