Thursday, 24 October 2019 02:11

Melbourne primary school duo win national maths teacher awards

Liz Dewar, Ryan Jellie show their maths teacher awards Liz Dewar, Ryan Jellie show their maths teacher awards

Melbourne primary school teachers Liz Dewar and Ryan Jellie have been named Australia's most Outstanding Primary Maths Teachers at a ceremony in Melbourne.

The duo from Boneo Primary took home the $10,000 Outstanding Primary Teacher of the Year Award at the 2019 Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) Choose Maths Awards.

They will share the $10,000 prize, including $2500 each for professional development and a $5000 funding injection into its mathematics program.

Judged by a panel of maths education experts, the teacher awards acknowledge educators who demonstrate excellence in leadership, creativity and innovation and the engagement and mentoring of colleagues and students to strengthen outcomes for girls in mathematics.

AMSI schools program manager and Choose Maths project director, Janine Sprakel said the panel was “blown away” by the Boneo Primary School duo and their “extraordinary impact on the school community – saying they have “transformed not just the school but the whole community”.

Sprakel said Liz Dewar and Ryan Jellie’s Janine leadership and impact through innovation was particularly impressive and they realised it was critical to engage everyone if they were to drive real change for mathematics learning at their school.

“They have pulled off a transformation that has turned around student engagement and changed how maths is taught and learnt,” she said.

Fellow Victorian teacher and sometimes maths song writer, Jess Szalek from Hillsmeade Primary School in Narre Warren was also honoured with a $2000 Excellence Award.

In total three top awards were presented with NSW teacher Louise Puslednik from St Matthews Catholic School in Mudgee taking home the $20,000 Mentoring Girls in Maths award and Walford Anglican School for Girls teacher, Deb Woodard-Knight from SA honoured with the $10,000 Outstanding Secondary Teacher award. $2000 Teacher Excellence Awards were also presented to teachers from the ACT, QLD, SA, and WA.

AMSI Director, Professor Tim Brown said Deward and Jellie exemplified the very best of mathematics education.

“This year’s winning teachers are helping equip a generation with the necessary mathematics to thrive in the future where mathematical sciences increasingly underpin any thriving community. Importantly the impacts of their innovation, excellence and passion are felt not only in their own classrooms but across their schools and communities,” said Professor Brown.

“The outstanding student videos show the way mathematics can engage students to produce extraordinary demonstrations of their deep understanding together with their drive to powerfully communicate that to others."


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).



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