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National Recognition for St Andrew's Anglican College Teacher

St Andrew’s Anglican College teacher Kerrie Johnstone has confirmed her place in the top echelons of Australia’s teaching profession.

The Sunshine Coast secondary Maths and Science teacher is 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.

Ms Johnstone, who has achieved Highly Accomplished certification, joins a growing network of high performing Australian teachers. There are currently about 500 HALT-certified teachers nationwide.

Like many teachers, Ms Johnstone was inspired to follow in the footsteps of a “highly passionate and caring” senior Maths teacher who she said taught her that hard work and persistence pay off.

“Like all teachers, I am here because I care and want to make a difference in the lives of young people,” she said.

Ms Johnstone believes teachers have the greatest impact on student learning when they recognise and respect the inherent value of each student.

“I believe every one of my students can learn and my faith in them is the most important thing. I want my students to enjoy coming to my classes like I do. I want them to feel safe to ask questions. I want them to be challenged to experience successes and failures,” she 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 Ms Johnstone on her 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 Ms Johnstone to take up teaching, what she loves most about her vocation and what taking part in ISQ’s national certification program has taught her | READ MORE

MEDIA CONTACT: Justine Nolan | 0428 612 315 | jnolan@isq.qld.edu.au

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