Orange High School teachers and student selected for Minister's awards

HIGH ACHIEVERS: Orange High School student Lachie Wheeler performed at the awards ceremony where  Kate Rogan, Elijah Smyth and Peita Mages won awards. Photo: SUPPLIED
HIGH ACHIEVERS: Orange High School student Lachie Wheeler performed at the awards ceremony where Kate Rogan, Elijah Smyth and Peita Mages won awards. Photo: SUPPLIED

Two Orange High School teachers and a student were among 91 individuals and schools from across NSW who were acknowledged for their achievement and service to public education at Wednesday night’s Minister’s and Secretary’s Awards.

Student, Elijah Smyth was presented with a Minister’s Award for Excellence in Student Achievement and teachers Peita Mages and Kate Rogan each won a Minister’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in Sydney.

The awards recognise those who have made major contributions as role models to their peers, their schools and school communities.

Elijah Smyth was described as an exemplary student who has demonstrated excellence across many areas during his six years at Orange High School, including academic excellence, school and regional sports representation and leadership.

He was elected school captain for 2018 and was described an excellent role model to sports people in his school and community and has excelled particularly in rugby league.

Elijah was also recognised as an outstanding young leader by the Orange Aboriginal Education Consultative Group and contributed to school’s The Deadly Times Indigenous newspaper.

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT: Orange High School vice captain Isabel Shaw, captain Eliza Owens, captain and award winner Elijah Smyth, and vice captain. Malakai Talanoa. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT: Orange High School vice captain Isabel Shaw, captain Eliza Owens, captain and award winner Elijah Smyth, and vice captain. Malakai Talanoa. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

Mrs Rogan is a physics teacher and head teacher of wellbeing has been teaching for five years and said she felt humbled and excited by her award.

In her first year of teaching, Mrs Rogan’s students achieved outstanding Higher School Certificate physics results, with 0.20 points above state average.

Her passion for student wellbeing also resulted in her developing innovative programs and structures to ensure students have equitable access to education.

TEACHING SUCCESS: Orange High School physics teacher Kate Rogan talks to students Christian Presslaber, Thomas Zeylemaker and Hugh Duffiel. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

TEACHING SUCCESS: Orange High School physics teacher Kate Rogan talks to students Christian Presslaber, Thomas Zeylemaker and Hugh Duffiel. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

Mrs Mages was also excited to win an award after being nominated for the excellent HSC results achieved by her standard English class.

In 2017, three of her students achieved a Band 6 in standard English, which is 4.1 per cent compared to 0.86 per cent of the state. 

She said the result was particularly impressive because the bell-curve used for HSC results makes it difficult for standard English students to achieve a band six.

She said 12 of her standard English students also achieved band 5s last year.

Mrs Mages has been teaching English for five years after retraining following a 10 year career as a publicist for Disney, Sony and Universal and said she always considered teaching.  

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