October 13

The TEACHX Awards are held annually by the Queensland College of Teachers to recognise some great teachers in our community and to elevate the profession.

In the year of COVID-19, the need for teachers to be flexible, hard working, innovative and dedicated to the education of students was on display more than ever.

The QCT received close to 400 nominations of which 74 nominees were shortlisted.

In each of the six awards categories there were five finalists.

Out of those 30 teachers I personally interviewed 15 of them and drafted 14 media releases.

These are their stories.

Excellence in Beginning to Teach

Peita BatesI happened to drive up to Maryborough a handful of days before I interviewed two finalists from Maryborough State High School. It is a beautiful town but both teachers I spoke to were eloquent of the challenges that Maryborough students face and that even on the coast 3 hours from Brisbane the community can become isolated like many regional towns. Peita is a former business consultant who in her short time as a teacher had already made great strides for her students becoming part of a school audit of the school as a Registered Training Organisation. She set up computer coding as a language program at the school and a Roboacademy. In the year of COVID she created the Game On challenge for students to design a game around the theme of connection. Along with Cecilia Kovacic, Peita Bates is a great advocate for her students, her school and her town.

Alexandra CalligarisAllie is a whip-smart innovative and perceptive teacher who has already made a big impact in her chosen career. We spoke about the difference a teacher can make in a student’s approach to life and how she has structured subjects to be engaging and contemporary whether it be how geospatial tech could be used to survive a zombie apocalypse or about podcasting. She created a Year 9 elective which aims to cross curriculum with excellent results. As a teacher, Calligaris has already left her mark but she is only getting started.

Excellence in Teaching

Jodi AudossIt was an honour to speak to Jodi Audoss. Jodi had worked in early childhood for many years before becoming a school teacher. A brain bleed saw her leave the profession and gradually with great effort and resilience work her way back to being a full time teacher. She now works with students with disabilities to reach their full potential alongside their peers. She has a lifetime of insight and an unwavering passion for the individual development of young students at a critical time in their education. She is a very special teacher and individual.

Cecilia KovacicCecilia Kovacic who also teaches at Maryborough State High School and spoke with great passion about creating employment opportunities for students in the town through several initiatives including trade training and the FraserPop Pop Culture Festival which drew 15,000 people in 2019 which she co-created. She was full of pride for the resilience and flexibility her students had shown as COVID forced them to change plans for the festival. My manager wrote the piece on Cecilia.

It will always remain an honour to have interviewed these wonderful teachers.

-Lloyd Marken


TEACHX Excellence.jpg

The 2019 TEACHX Awards are to be held on the 23rd of October and will recognise some of the most outstanding teachers working in the profession across Queensland. The event is run by the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) who have received over 200 nominations across six categories.

In the lead up to the event, the media arm of QCT is publishing pieces on all the nominees and I was most fortunate to be placed on what was ultimately a 10 week secondment to their area to write some of these, all up I wrote 115 pieces.

I have previously posted about the categories Outstanding Contribution to TeachingFor Innovation in TeachingExcellence in Beginning to Teach and Outstanding Contribution to School Community.

The next category is Excellence in Teaching which received the second most amount of nominations of which I wrote 38 pieces on.

They were Natalie Bell, Lee Freeman, Georgia Gibbons, Morgan Gibbons, Kellie Gill, Clair Goodall, James Gynther, Lissa Gyte, Karen Hamilton, Jason Henry, Rachael Heritage, Julie Hirst, Gina Lyons, Ruth MacLean, Tiffany McCarthy, Suzette Meiring, Tabitha Mojilip, Catherine Nicholson, Brenton O’Neil, Alana PattersonRowena Petersen, Jae Phillips, Lauren Proctor, Michelle Ragen, Amy Rankin, Kristy Raybould, Katrina Riley, Desley Sadler, Raymond Scott, Megan Thirkill, Carla Trott, Paul Trotter, David Turner, Vince Wall, Casey WaltonMargaret Warren, Renee Wilkie and Courtney Wolbers.

The event is a huge undertaking requiring a lot of work from a group of strong professionals. Like all things done by this team, it is done to recognise some of the great work that teachers are doing and to help elevate the profession. Being called upon to write full time, pieces that support these aims is a dream come true for me.

The people I got to work with are experienced, talented and extremely hard working and I hope I effectively contributed and learnt a thing or two.

Feel free to check them out and comment on what you liked. All 65 have made an extraordinary contribution to bettering the education of students.

-Lloyd Marken