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National Recognition for St Margaret's Anglican Girls School Teacher

St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School senior teacher and faculty head Tom McCormick has confirmed his place in the top echelon of Australia’s teaching profession.

Mr McCormick 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.

He now belongs to a growing network of high performing Australian teachers. There are currently about 500 HALT-certified teachers nationwide.

Mr McCormick, who has achieved Lead Teacher certification, said he was destined to enter teaching after growing up in household full of children.

“My parents fostered more than 40 children and adopted five children, making me one of nine. I’m the second eldest so I was always helping out with homework or other school issues while I was growing up,” he said.

“I wanted to make a difference and give something back in terms of the development of young people.”

Mr McCormick, who has been teaching for eight years, said the partnership between schools, teachers, students and parents or carers was critical in a student’s academic and emotional development.

“It really gives the students a boost when everyone is working together in partnership for them,” he said.

Mr McCormick is now sharing his insights and experiences as a mentor for other teachers undertaking national certification.

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 Mr McCormick on his dedication to continually challenging his own teaching and leadership practices for the benefit of 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 Mr McCormick to take up teaching, what he loves most about his vocation and what taking part in ISQ’s national certification program has taught him | READ MORE

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

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