Pilbara educators top of the class
Two Pilbara schools have been recognised for their exceptional efforts in educating the next generation after becoming finalists in the 2019 WA Education Awards.
Baynton West Primary School received two nominations, with principal Lisa Ledger short-listed for WA Primary Principal of the Year and the school in contention for the WA Premier’s Excellence in Aboriginal Education Award.
Exmouth District High School was named a finalist in WA Secondary School of the Year.
Ms Ledger said her school’s approach to Aboriginal education revolved around being culturally responsive.
“Understanding builds empathy and empathy builds kindness,” she said.
“There are a lot of issues we face with many of our Aboriginal students such as attendance, so we want to build kindness and have that as they overlay as everything we do.”
“Aboriginal children have a big say in what they do, so we ask them what they want and give them a voice.”
“As a result they’re coming to school, they’re enjoying it and they’re thriving.”
Ms Ledger said as a principal she felt a responsibility to nurture her teachers’ careers so they could do the best job they could for the students.
“Education is the key, without that you can’t change the world,” she said.
“The world is needing great leaders, so if we can influence and make sure children have the skills and the confidence to be leaders that change the world, then that’s the most important thing.”
EDHS principal Ray Denholm said their nomination reinforced and endorsed the pathway of improvement they had been on for the past four years since becoming an independent public school.
“Public confidence in what we’re doing is growing and on the rising tide of that public sentiment, we’ve been focusing on improving the quality of teaching,” he said.
“We’ve built the reputation that 90 percent of parents would recommend the school, whereas in 2015 only 48 per cent would have.”
Winners of the awards will be announced on October 28 and will share in total prize money of $337,500, with a portion to be spent on professional development.
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