Two Redlands Teachers Picked as Number One
Two Redlands School staff - Science Teacher Julie Fryer and Junior Counsellor Samantha Kourakis - have been awarded Premier's Teacher Scholarships.
Redlands is one of a very few schools who have ever had two of the prestigious scholarships presented to the same school in the same year.
The $15,000 scholarships enable exemplary NSW teachers to visit schools overseas, observe the latest teaching practices, and bring new expertise back to our classrooms.
A total of 25 scholarships were presented by NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell and Education Minister, Adrian Piccoli, in a ceremony at NSW Government House last week.
Premier O'Farrell said the scholarships are about driving continuous improvement in the NSW education system.
"The scholarship program is about making our best teachers world experts in education," Mr O'Farrell said.
"We already have some of the best teachers in the world in NSW - this is about helping them become even better."
Redlands Secondary School Science Teacher, Mrs Julie Fryer, was awarded the Premier's Macquarie Capital Science Scholarship. Mrs Fryer has first class honours in Engineering and Teaching, and has been teaching at Redlands for three years.
Mrs Fryer was the inspiration behind Redlands Engineering Club - which helps students appreciate the creativity behind science and its application. Each week, 30 girls and boys from Years 7-8 meet to undertake a weekly engineering challenge.
She will be visiting schools in the USA (California, Arizona, New York, Connecticut) and attending a conference in Missouri later this year to investigate four specific pedagogical techniques for promoting student engagement and learning in science.
"I was both extremely surprised and honoured to be chosen for a scholarship. Although I had applied, you never expect to actually win," Mrs Fryer said.
"Redlands is a great school to teach at, with a very supportive teaching culture that encourages creativity in the classroom, giving teachers the freedom to try new approaches that will benefit our students. I look forward to the opportunity, through this scholarship, to investigate new ways to continue to excite students about science, and help them achieve their potential."
Redlands Junior School Counsellor, Mrs Samantha Kourakis, was awarded a Premier's Annika Foundation Scholarship (focused on best practice counselling).
Mrs Kourakis has been at Redlands for four years, and her trip to US and Canadian schools and a conference in Pennsylvania will enable her to study new techniques in fostering resilience and restorative practices.
Mrs Kourakis has already introduced wonderful pastoral care programs to Redlands Junior School including Circle Solutions, Friendship Club and the Cool Kids program.
"I was thrilled and honoured, and am very proud to be able to represent Redlands," Mrs Kourakis said.
"Redlands really embraces the concept of pastoral care, and there is a strong openness to looking at new ideas and to try new things.
"I look forward to exploring even more ways to develop the sense of interconnectedness at Redlands to help all students feel they belong in a meaningful way to our School community."
Redlands Principal, Dr Peter Lennox, congratulated both Mrs Fryer and Mrs Kourakis on their fine accomplishment.
"It is a great honour and privilege for two of our educators to be awarded these prestigious scholarships," Dr Lennox said.
"They represent the wonderful and exciting work that is being done at Redlands to develop innovative teaching and learning."