A teacher from Cudal Public School has been awarded a $10,000 scholarship to help with her professional development.
Hannah Rivers started as a permanent teacher at Cudal Public School in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and recently received the Teachers Health Early Career Scholarship.
The scholarship is for the professional development of public school teachers in their first three years of teaching.
Miss Rivers grew up on a farm near Denman in the the Upper Hunter, and moved to Orange after her partner, now fiance, David Oakden received a job in Orange as part of a teaching scholarship.
Mr Oakden initially worked at Canobolas Rural Technology High School and is now working at James Sheahan Catholic High School.
"We moved to Orange in the beginning of 2017," Miss Rivers said.
Miss Rivers said she was working at another of the region's small schools, Cumnock Public School when she applied for the scholarship.
However, she recently changed schools because she couldn't pass up the opportunity of getting a permanent teaching position.
I am passionate about students from small and rural schools receiving excellent teaching so that they can achieve their best, regardless of where they live.Teacher Hannah Rivers
She said the network of small schools in the Cabonne area have also been great and offered her mentoring.
"I am deeply humbled and honoured to be awarded this scholarship, which will provide me with career-changing opportunities to pursue experiences and professional learning that I would not have access to otherwise," Miss Rivers said.
"I am excited to implement the new knowledge and skills I gain to improve my teaching and support my local community in the central west.
"I am passionate about students from small and rural schools receiving excellent teaching so that they can achieve their best, regardless of where they live."
Miss Rivers previously taught students in years 2, 3 and 4, and now she is working in a learning support role for students aged from kindergarten to year 6.
The role involves helping students with various subjects according to their individual needs and she she also teaches history and geography.
However, she only recently started working with the students due to face-to-face classes not being held amid coronavirus restrictions. She said the school was fantastic and found jobs for her to do until students returned.
Miss Rivers studied an undergraduate degree in English literature, history and politics at the University of Wollongong then completed her Masters Degree to become a teacher at the University of New England.
She said becoming a teacher seemed natural for her.
"I love kids, I think they are awesome people to work with," she said.
She said she helped teach university students in tutorial classes while at university and she has helped students prepare for the HSC.
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