Yolande Franke, principal of Howick Intermediate School is one of the 15 inspirational educators nominated from 2000 applications for the Australian Scholarship Grant (ASG) National Excellence in Teaching Award.
An email informing her that she has been shortlisted as one of the inspirational educators on a regional level, took her by surprise.
She soon discovered that it was one of the school parents who had nominated her.
“It’s great to be acknowledged by a parent for the regional award and it is an opportunity to be considered a finalist,” she says.
For 24 years the National Excellence in Teaching Awards has provided communities with the opportunity to formally recognise and thank outstanding teachers and leaders across for categories-early learning centres, primary schools, secondary schools and special school.
The official recommendation reads: ‘Yolande is passionate about giving every student the very best possible education by adopting a personalised approach. As school principal Yolande is committed to creating a school tone and culture that fosters high expectations, positive values and character development as this is critical to a safe, happy and supportive learning environment’.
Ian Fox who was appointed by the Ministry of Education prior to Yolande’s appointment when the school was in strife, says that he has watched Yolande progress since that time and has been witness to just how much she has done to lift the school.
“Yolande well deserves this award as since her appointment at Howick Intermediate School she has taken it from a school with many problems, where local in-zone parents were choosing any school but Howick Intermediate, to one now that is certainly the school of choice for local children.
“Yolande has made this turnaround in a very short period of time through her energy and hard work. I believe both she and the school deserve some recognition as this is a wonderful achievement.”
Subash Chandar K, curriculum leader of Mathematics at Ormiston Senior College has also been shortlisted for the ASG National Excellence in Teaching Award.
The citation for the award-winning educator reads: `Subash became a teacher to inspire the next generation of creators and innovators. At the same time he says his students inspire him to constantly question his teaching pedagogies and push himself towards the future, though he admits to often falling behind.
`He is in constant pursuit of meaningful and contextual tasks to increase student engagement because of the variety of learning styles among the students in his class. He is driven by the thought that he needs to prepare students for the future’.
The shortlisted educators now have to submit a 1200 word essay and responses to five questions on education and teaching in video format.