OUTSTANDING Queensland Teachers are set to be recognised at the 2015 Queensland College of Teachers Excellence in Teaching Awards for their special contributions to their vocation, including two Catholics.
The excellence awards cover four categories, Beginning to Teach, Teaching, Leadership Teaching and Learning, and Outstanding contribution, and ensures educators are acknowledged for their specific achievements.
Paul Baker of St Teresa’s Catholic College, Noosaville, was nominated in the Outstanding Contribution to teaching category.
A self-confessed history lover, Mr Baker has been teaching for almost 30 years, and said making a difference in students’ lives is what kept him in “the game”.
“If people read some of the letters I get and I have folders of them and I treasure them greatly – then they would understand the differences that teachers make,” he said.
Mr Baker’s extensive passion for history gave him the opportunity to showcase his work on behalf of The Department of Veteran Affairs last year, and he continues to assist in St Teresa’s Professional Development Learning Teams and has developed resources for The History Teachers Association of Queensland and Department of Training and Education at QUT.
His achievements have inspired the next generation to follow in his footsteps when he was nominated for the award by a former student who because of Mr Baker was inspired to become a teacher.
St Laurence’s College music and English teacher Anthony Young was described by one of his colleagues as the teacher “all others aspire to be”, in a total of 32 letters penned by staff, students and parents praising the former lawyer.
His continued pursuit to serve others in his role has seen him nominated for the Excellence in Teaching Award for 2015.
Mr Young said he had become a teacher to serve others a goal he continues to strive for through his deep commitment to education and social justice at the College.
“It is an honour to have some part in the formation of people and it is also an enormous responsibility,” he said.
“The rewards are amazing, even from a lesson to lesson if one kid gets that little bit better, it’s wonderful.”
Mr Young’s impact as choir director has been praised by contemporaries and past pupils alike.
“I am proud to say that I was a student of Mr Young’s and to say that he was my great inspiration and motivation whilst a school, I owe Anthony Young for these achievements of mine,” a former student said.
Paul Baker and Anthony Young are just two examples of the extraordinary candidates for the 2015 awards, their achievements and the esteem in which they are held speaks to the teachers they are.
Queensland College of Teachers chair Dr Joe McCorley said it was impossible to not be inspired by the finalists, who were on the front line in shaping Queensland’s next generation.
“I’d like to thank all of the finalists and all of the teachers who were nominated, for their inspiring work and for their dedication to the profession and students,” he said.
Award winners will be announced tomorrow, October 30, at 2.30pm, in conjunction with World Teacher’s Day, at the Queensland University of Technology’s Room Three Sixty.
– Isaac Murphy