Hanwood Public School principal Monica St Baker has been heralded as being among the top educators in Australia.
As the principal of 266 students, Ms St Baker was a winner of the Commonwealth Banks 2019 Teaching Awards having been nominated by her four assistant principals.
The awards are run in partnership with the national education charity Schools Plus, with Ms St Baker also having been made a lifetime fellow of the awards.
After facing a panel of judges made up of educators, business leaders and coaches, Ms St Baker was selected to be one of the 12 winning educators out of over 400 nominees.
She was then expected to fly to Sydney to receive a trophy and give a speech in front of fellow teachers and the secretary of education.
Starting her position as principal of Hanwood in 2012, Ms St Baker said her proudest achievement has been improving the knowledge and quality of all of her teachers by bringing education training experts out to Griffith.
"Other schools send teachers offside to do professional learning off site to return and present it to the school, but then you have to decide who goes," Ms St Baker said.
"What I do is I bring the experts here and every one of my teachers get the professional learning they need.
"It costs and an awful lot of money but every term I have education consultant Dr Kate Bricknell from Tamworth come here and help us work on our literacy with a major focus on metacognitive learning, which gets the students thinking about their writing and teachers thinking about their learning and whether it challenges the students."
So far Ms St Baker says the results of bringing in Dr Bricknell have been speaking for themselves, with the school's year 5 and year 6 students having achieved above the national average in their 2018 NAPLAN score for writing.
Meanwhile the school's year 3 NAPLAN scores have gone from scoring the lowest evaluation 'working towards delivering' to the second highest, 'sustaining and growing.'
Ms St Baker said Hanwood's teachers have also been enjoying learning from an expert together.
Other proud moments Ms St Baker said has been her introduction of flexible learning spaces and project based learning curriculum.
Last year classrooms at the school were each given the task of working together to plan, present, and budget a makeover project for one of the school's garden beds.
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