Top-down excellence in WA Schools 

October 23, 2023

THREE Western Australian teacherS RECOGNISED WITH A NATIONAL teaching excellence AWARD

There are multiple factors which make a school high performing, including the excellent teachers who continuously invest in their own progression and/or introduce worthwhile initiatives in order to be better educators.  

A light was shone on three outstanding educators from Western Australia recently as part of being awarded a 2023 Commonwealth Bank Teaching Award.   Congratulations to Nadine Stapleton of South Hedland Primary School, Jade Foster of Mount Tarcoola Primary School and Lauren Warschauer of Byford Secondary College.

Nadine Stapleton, an Early Childhood Teacher in Western Australia, prioritizes communication at South Hedland Primary School. She works with a diverse student body, including 62% First Nations children, and has implemented initiatives like the Green and Red Choices program, using gestures and props to improve communication and behaviour. Nadine also fosters community relationships through events and KindiLink sessions, aiming to create a safe space for children and families and dispel negative perceptions about education.

Jade Foster, a primary school teacher and instructional coach at Mount Tarcoola Primary School, improved student outcomes by implementing evidence-based teaching strategies. Her efforts resulted in consistent high scores in English and Mathematics, and she also shared her knowledge with other teachers, mentored educators from the region, supervised student teachers, and hosted parent workshops to enhance early literacy and numeracy skills.

The third winner, Lauren Warschauer, is a health and PE teacher who has successfully implemented her Engage programme within her secondary school. The program has transformed the health and wellbeing of many of her students with her innovative approach to building their skills and understanding of ways to live a healthier life, as well as improving student engagement.  

Engage is an 8-week program developed by Lauren, where students come to school early twice a week. In these early morning sessions, they participate in fitness activities, cooking classes and healthy meal preparation. Students also get the opportunity to hear from inspiring guest speakers from their community and beyond. Participants are given opportunities to volunteer in their community, as well as get involved in team building activities to develop their leadership and communication skills; skills which have been found to be key contributors to confidence and success.  

‘Warschauer transformed the health and wellbeing of many of her students with her innovative approach…’

The Foundation is pleased to see that Lauren hails from a Fogarty EDvance school. The Fogarty EDvance School Improvement Program provides high quality support to build leadership capability and increase the overall effectiveness of schools, through a unique three-year professional development opportunity, which brings together the best practices, resources and tools from education, business and philanthropy. 

Commonwealth Bank partnered with Schools Plus to sponsor the Awards celebrating transformational learning. Applicants are required to have significantly contributed to a measurable improvement in student learning within their institution, using high impact, effective and evidence-based leadership practices. Schools Plus has been working to close the gap caused by educational disadvantage in Australia. Its mission is to facilitate sustainable change to help children facing difficult circumstances. Through Awards such as these, excellent educators are championed and offer inspiration to others involved in the sector.  

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