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Diocese of Toowoomba Catholic Schools

Toowoomba Catholic Schools Excellence Awards

The inspiring and expert staff in our schools, kindergartens, Outside School Hours Care and office are formally recognised through the Toowoomba Catholic Schools Excellence Awards.

Each year, nominations are called for from colleagues, parents and community members to highlight teachers/educators, school/kindergarten leaders, support and services staff in schools, kindergartens and OSHC, those that work in an office or volunteer their time as examples of the excellence across our network. 

From these nominations, finalists are selected and at a special award's dinner during Catholic Education Week, the recipients are announced.

The awards are in 9 categories across three areas and capture the varying career phases, roles and responsibilities that enable Toowoomba Catholic Schools to provide high quality education and care in a distinctively Catholic environment.

2024 TCS Excellence Awards finalists

Excellence in teaching and learning

Category 1: Early Career Teacher
Riley Salter - Assumption College, Warwick
Nicole Hoffmann - St Monica’s School, Oakey
Emily Blair - Our Lady of the Southern Cross College, Dalby
Category 2: Primary/Kindergarten Expert Teacher
Brendan Luck - St Saviour’s Primary School, Toowoomba
Angela Skillington - St Francis de Sales School, Clifton
Deena Jones - St Thomas More’s Primary School, Toowoomba
Christine Carter - Mary MacKillop Catholic College, Highfields
Category 3: Secondary Expert Teacher
Esther Hohenheim - Assumption College, Warwick
Kylie Purbrick - Our Lady of the Southern Cross College, Dalby
Matthew Chivers - Mary MacKillop Catholic College, Highfields

Excellence in leadership

Category 1: Emerging leadership
Jake Weise - St Mary’s College, Toowoomba
Melita Dellit - Our Lady of the Southern Cross College, Dalby
Sophie Elmes - Holy Name Primary School, Toowoomba

Category 2: Middle leadership
Simone Forbes - Our Lady of the Southern Cross College, Dalby
Kerrie Connolly - St Mary’s College, Toowoomba
Shari Pauli - St Mary’s College, Toowoomba

Category 3: School/Kindergarten leadership
Sarah Yates - St Joseph’s School, Stanthorpe
Fiona Drew - St Stephen’s School, Pittsworth
Brendon Willocks - St Joseph’s College, Toowoomba
Eileen Moyle - Toowoomba Catholic Schools Office

Excellence in education support

Category 1: Teaching and learning support
Jodi Marshall - St Ursula’s College, Toowoomba
Leona Doherty - St Anthony’s School, Toowoomba
Nancy Heritage - St Ursula’s College, Toowoomba
Category 2: Administration, finance and facilities support
Christie Mastin-Richardson - Mary MacKillop Catholic College, Highfields
Jodie Ramage - St Thomas More’s Primary School, Toowoomba
Warren Farquharson - St Saviour’s Primary School, Toowoomba
Tyhla Roper - St Mary’s College, Toowoomba
Category 3: Volunteer support
Darryl Betzien - St Patrick’s Primary School, Mitchell
Jodie Cosmo - St Joseph’s School, Stanthorpe

The recipients of the awards will be announced on Thursday, 25 July 2024 at the Excellence Awards gala dinner.

To read about our 2023 finalists and the recipients click here.

Awards categories and selection criteria

The categories for these awards and the selection criteria that nominations are written to are below.
 
Nominations have closed for the 2024 awards.  

Excellence in teaching and learning

Category 1 - Excellence in teaching and learning: early career teacher/educator (0-3 years of teaching experience)

Nominations are to address the following criteria and must include examples of how the nominee has demonstrated excellence in this area by providing specific examples and evidence.

  • successfully implements evidence-based high impact teaching strategies which affirm the dignity and potential of each student 
  • ensures classroom practice is informed by planning for personalised learning and based on formative and diagnostic assessment of student skills, knowledge and understanding 
  • ensures the choice of content and pedagogy is responsive to the cultural backgrounds and life experiences of students and challenges students to think deeply about the world and their place in it 

Category 2 - Excellence in teaching and learning: kindergarten/primary expert teacher

Nominations are to address the following criteria and must include examples of how the nominee has demonstrated excellence in this area by providing specific examples and evidence.

  • is an acknowledged expert classroom practitioner in evidence-based, high impact strategies which affirm the dignity and potential of all students and readily shares this expertise across classrooms 
  • ensures classroom practice is supported by planning for personalised learning and based on formative and diagnostic assessment of student skills, knowledge and understanding 
  • ensures the choice of content and pedagogy is responsive to the cultural backgrounds and life experiences of students and challenges students to think deeply about the world and their place in it 

Category 3 - Excellence in teaching and learning: secondary expert teacher

Nominations are to address the following criteria and must include examples of how the nominee has demonstrated excellence in this area by providing specific examples and evidence.

  • is an acknowledged expert classroom practitioner in evidence-based, high impact strategies which affirm the dignity and potential of all students and readily shares this expertise across classrooms 
  • ensures classroom practice is supported by planning for personalised learning and based on formative and diagnostic assessment of student skills, knowledge and understanding 
  • ensures the choice of content and pedagogy is responsive to the cultural backgrounds and life experiences of students and challenges students to think deeply about the world and their place in it 

Excellence in leadership

Category 1 – School/Kindergarten leadership (inclusive of educative and religious leadership)

This award recognises a school or Toowoomba Catholic Schools Office individual or team who/that has demonstrated high quality leadership focussed on creating exemplary places of learning where every student experiences academic success and comes to know and experience the loving presence of Jesus.

Nominations are to address the following criteria and must include examples of how the nominee has demonstrated excellence in this area by providing specific examples and evidence.

  • leads the development, implementation and review of evidence-based teaching and learning strategies that have improved student learning outcomes in and across schools/colleges
  • provides leadership for Catholic identity and the ethos and charism of the school community, integrating hope-filled beliefs and values into all facets of school life and learning
  • creates a positive culture of challenge and support

Category 2 - Middle leadership

This award recognises an individual or team who/that has demonstrated high quality middle leadership focussed on creating exemplary places of learning where every student experiences academic success and comes to know and experience the loving presence of Jesus.

Nominations are to address the following criteria and must include examples of how the nominee has demonstrated excellence in this area by providing specific examples and evidence.

  • provides high quality leadership, expertise and coordination in their specific area of delegated responsibility
  • is proactive in their pastoral care of staff
  • emphasises the centrality of teaching and learning in the life and work of the school

Category 3 - Emerging leadership

This award recognises an individual who is not in a formal leadership position and has demonstrated a willingness to contribute beyond their role to lead a school improvement initiative focussed on creating exemplary places of learning where every student experiences academic success and comes to know and experience the loving presence of Jesus.

Nominations are to address the following criteria and must include examples of how the nominee has demonstrated excellence in this area by providing specific examples and evidence.

  • identified and lead a school improvement project that has improved student learning outcomes
  • used data and educational research to inform and enhance practice
  • engaged others and fostered relationships that inspired action and growth in students, colleagues, parents and the community

Excellence in education support

Category 1 - Teaching and learning support

This award recognises an individual or team who/that work with teaching staff to create exemplary places of learning where every student experiences academic success and comes to know and experience the loving presence of Jesus. The types of role that this award recognises include teacher aides, school counsellors, kindergarten educators, Occupational Therapists, Education Officers, Boarding supervisors.

Nominations are to address the following criteria and must include examples of how the nominee has demonstrated excellence in this area by providing specific examples and evidence.

  • supports the implementation of engaging and effective learning that puts students first and unleashes their potential
  • looks for and uses innovative ideas to respond to the needs of students
  • demonstrates a commitment to learning, collaboration and professionalism in all interactions with members of the school/college community

Category 2 - Administration, finance and facilities support

This award recognises an individual or team who/that works in support roles to create exemplary places of learning where every student experiences academic success and comes to know and experience the loving presence of Jesus. The types of role that this award recognises include cleaners, laundry staff, grounds people, administration officers, HR officers, accountants, business managers, IT technicians.

Nominations are to address the following criteria and must include examples of how the nominee has demonstrated excellence in this area by providing specific examples and evidence.

  • provides high quality leadership, service or support to a school/college or schools/colleges in their area of responsibility
  • looks for and uses innovative solutions relevant to their role and responsibilities
  • engages with others and fosters relationships that inspire action and growth

Category 3 - Volunteer support in a school setting

This award recognises an individual or team who/that have given their time to support a school or college and this volunteering has contributed to creating exemplary places of learning where every student experiences academic success and comes to know and experience the loving presence of Jesus. The types of roles that this award recognises include those who volunteer to work in classrooms, to maintain school facilities, to engage other parents.

Nominations are to address the following criteria and must include examples of how the nominee has demonstrated excellence in this area by providing specific examples and evidence.

  • looks for and implements innovative and new solutions to support the school or college to achieve its goals
  • works with others and fosters relationships that inspire action and growth
  • focusses on the 'common good'