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.
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.
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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