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Spirit of Catholic Education Awards recipients

26 July 2022 | Posted in Catholic Identity

Spirit of Catholic Education Awards recipients

The Spirit of Catholic Education Awards are presented annually in conjunction with Catholic Education Week to celebrate the outstanding contributions to Catholic education in Queensland.

Recipients are members of our school communities who are making an outstanding contribution to the life of the school community and go above and beyond their usual area of work.

We would like to congratulate our 2022 Spirit of Catholic Education Award recipients including our Townsville Diocesan winner, Clare Plant who travelled to Toowoomba to represent Townsville at the State Spirit of Catholic Education Awards at the official launch of Catholic Education Week.

Clare Plant
St Joseph’s Catholic School, Mundingburra

Clare attended the official launch in Toowoomba yesterday where she was presented with her Diocesan award.

Clare embraces the St Joseph's Mundingburra school motto of ‘Love is Service’ and is witness to Mary Mackillop's conviction of never seeing a need without doing something about it. Clare has been a long standing member of the school and parish community for close to 40 years, and continues to work as the school Chaplain. She is a highly respected staff member who fosters a sense of community and can be relied upon to assist anyone in need both in the school and community.

Gospel Values play an important part in Clare’s life. By bearing witness to them she nurtures and develops these values in those around her. It is evident that Clare’s life is guided by faith, hope and love as she worships, recognises, accepts and cooperates with the mysterious action of God in her life. We believe Clare to be well deserving of this nomination.

Anthony Garrow
St Anthony’s Catholic College, Deeragun

Anthony works tirelessly to ensure the College is always presented to a very high standard. He is very involved in the Stephanie Alexander Garden project where he works with a dedicated staff to give Year 3 & 4 students real experiences of preparing gardens, growing plants, and preparing foods from garden to table. Anthony has a wonderful caring nature and encourages young gardeners. He is kind to the children he interacts with and a friendly staff member who puts others before himself. Anthony embodies our Franciscan charism on a daily basis.

Bianca Ponti
St Clare’s Catholic School, Burdell

In her role as Indigenous Education Teacher, Bianca implements change to improve teaching and learning and supports greater equity in education. It is through all of her efforts that Bianca ensures Indigenous Education is everyone’s responsibility - students, staff and families. It’s not a separate entity and encourages all members of the school community to enjoy the richness that Indigenous cultures bring to the life of our school.

Cheryl Elliott
Marian Catholic School, Currajong

Cheryl joined the Marian family when the school was still very much in its infancy and has been an integral part of its development through her outstanding service and commitment to the school and parish community.

Cheryl demonstrates the Marian charism by being a gentle role model for students and teachers alike. The strength of her faith allows her to authentically live the Gospel values each and every day. Cheryl is much admired and loved by generations of students, staff and families. She epitomizes this year’s theme of ‘Faith, Hope and Love’ and is a very worthy recipient for the Spirit of Catholic Education award.

Darren Hope
Columba Catholic College, Charters Towers

Darren is an outstanding member of the school community and is a grounds person at St Mary's Campus. Darren works tirelessly to provide a wonderful environment for the Prep to Year 6 students and gives so freely of his time to water, mow and lovingly tend to the manicured grounds and gardens. Darren is the first to assist with any project and always does so with care, compassion and a smile. He is well respected by his peers and by the students and wider community. He is considerate and has a genuine love of the college and his work as a grounds person. The Columba Catholic College community feels blessed to have Darren on their team and believe he is a very worthy recipient of this award.

Elizabeth Christie
St Benedict’s Catholic School, Shaw

Elizabeth is an exceptional teacher and a local Indigenous artist. Over the last couple of years Elizabeth has taken on the role of Indigenous Education Teacher and really made the role her own. She has shown such outstanding integrity in developing and leading programs in the school by working together with both students and families.

Elizabeth has created positive change for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, staff and families of St Benny’s by developing the cultural heritage in our Catholic education community.

Jane Aylward 
Holy Spirit Catholic School, Cranbrook

Jane demonstrates outstanding service to staff, parents and students within the Holy Spirit Catholic School community. Jane displays generosity and service to the life of the school, contributing to many extra curricula areas to ensure students benefit from a balanced education. Jane’s contribution and sustained service to Holy Spirit spans across 35 years.

Jane makes a positive difference in the lives of students by challenging them to live out the message of Jesus and to reach their full potential as compassionate, contributing, life-giving members of the community.

Joleen Stitt 
Ryan Catholic College, Kirwan

Joleen has worked at Ryan Catholic College for 25 years and over this time has been a teacher who has made a real difference in the lives of so many students and their families as well as being a wonderful mentor, role-model and colleague to countless other professionals working at the college.
Joleen built exceptionally life giving relationships with the teaching team with which she works.

Joleen’s integrity and courage in her dealings with others is testament to her passion, respect and deep commitment to the values of Catholic education.

Kath Hunter 
St Margaret Mary’s College, Hyde Park

Kath Hunter is a woman with unwavering belief in students. Her values are imbedded in the Catholic Social Justice teachings. A hallmark of her leadership has been the delivery of equitable, achievable, and useful outcomes for all students.

Kath Hunter is an educational leader of the finest ability - she leads with compassion and dedication. Her stewardship over the College's learning and teaching resources, including the mentoring of the Middle Leaders of the Key Learning Areas, is exemplary.

Kelly Ireland 
St Clare’s Catholic School, Burdell

Kelly is a member of the St Clare’s Catholic School community as both a parent and a staff member. Kelly contributes positively to school teams, providing feedback and ideas, always demonstrating initiative and promoting collegiality. She is of service to others, volunteering to assist and support where required across the school. Kelly has also contributed to the extra curricular life of the school, through her support and coordination of interschool sporting teams, including coaching and training.

Kelly is a worthy recipient of a nomination for these awards and the school is delighted to have her continue to be part of the St Clare’s Catholic School community now and into the future.

Maria Peck 
Columba Catholic College, Charters Towers

Maria is an outstanding leader and contributor to the Columba Catholic Community. Maria has organised and contributed to many school and community events including Theatre Restaurants and Graduation. She serves as an active member of the College Board and also sits on the Board of the Dalrymple Trade Training Centre that supports vocational education offerings for students.

Maria is a dedicated member of the Parish community and is a model and a guide for others. When in the role of APRE she was very active in leading Teen Vinnies and other outreach programs for students. Maria gives freely of her time and supports a range of curriculum initiatives in the promotion of best practice in the community.

Nadine Frost 
St Anthony’s Catholic College, Deeragun

Nadine is the epitome of putting the child at the centre of everything she does. Nadine's willingness to jump in wherever and whenever needed to assist to solve problems as they arise is very much appreciated by our whole community. Nadine embraces the College SHINE behaviour program and is exemplary at building rapport with the students she interacts with.

Nadine exemplifies our motto of "Let Your Light Shine". The College is gifted to have the talents of Nadine in our presence.

Renita Hooper 
St Margaret Mary’s College, Hyde Park

Renita is the first person anyone hears or sees as they engage with the SMMC community. She is the voice and face of the College. During her eleven years of service, she has presented the image of a hope filled member of the community. Her uplifting greeting shares an infectious joy and energy that anyone would be pleased to catch. It is this spirit of engagement, warmth and genuine interest in her that warms hearts and encourages those she encounters to feel accepted and important.

Rita Cranitch 
St Francis School, Ayr

Rita has held many roles within Townsville Catholic Education, she has been a juggler extraordinaire, never putting in less than one hundred percent in any role undertaken. Many hours have been spent of personal time to cater to the demands of the roles so that the students in her care have always benefitted. At the heart of it all is Rita’s belief that every child has potential and can succeed if we can tap into the best way for them to learn.

Rita’s passion and commitment to providing the best educational practice challenges us all to do that little bit extra to achieve great things with our learners.

Shantae Ryle 
St Catherine’s Catholic College, The Whitsundays

Shantae shows compassion to all students and has an excellent rapport with their parents. She recognises the uniqueness and capabilities of all students and facilitates many programs to allow our students to shine. She does all of this with humility and authenticity. She is extremely supportive and nurturing of her colleagues- especially of those who are in need. We highly regard and value Shantae as a staff member as she is a teacher that espouses all of the values deserving of a recipient of the Spirit of Catholic Education award for 2022.

Shayne Harrison 
Ryan Catholic College, Kirwan

Shayne helps where needed. He picked up a basketball team because there was no coach. Shayne also takes an active approach to supporting staff, training staff in first aid, to ensure their certificates are current.

The College values of Journey, Community and Service are all exemplified in Shayne’s leadership. He lives the Emmaus story and sees the face of Jesus in all he meets and connects with them first as people. His sense of strategy with compassion are his key evidence points in his leadership in Catholic education.

Tracey Sloan 
St Joseph’s Catholic School, The Strand

Through her reflective and dedicated practice, Tracey creates a classroom in which each student is valued and develops a deep understanding of their skills and talents as a learner. Over the past eighteen months, Tracey’s skills and qualities to create an inclusive classroom have come to the fore. She has initiated, developed and implemented learning plans and classroom resources to ensure the inclusion and positive educational outcomes for a student who learns from an alternate curriculum platform.

The way Tracey has organised and implemented an alternate curriculum has created a proforma for other teachers. She readily mentors her colleagues in ways to strive for better educational outcomes for all students.

Yvonne Van Den Worm 
Good Shepherd Catholic College, Mount Isa

Yvonne is an outstanding Guidance Counsellor. She is an expert in her field and is absolutely committed to improving the mental and emotional wellbeing of the students in the College.

Yvonne has a strong faith and is a regular participant in the Staff Prayer and Lenten/Advent Programs. She demonstrates strong Christian values and this is obvious in her caring and compassionate work with young people. Yvonne espouses the ideals of Catholic education, in the way she instils hope in the young people she meets.

Yvonne is an outstanding role-model to others and demonstrates excellence in team work which supports and builds Catholic education.

Andrea Groundwater 
Gilroy Santa Maria College, Ingham

Andrea has been a part of the College community for many years. She has worked with the first nations students for a number of years in the Emerging Leaders role providing support for students both in and out of the classroom. Andrea is a positive and compassionate person who embodies the Spirit of Catholic Education Award. It is Andrea's tireless dedication to this space and the care, attention, and support of our indigenous students, that makes her an outstanding role model and clear leader in our community.

Fiona Coghlan 
Good Shepherd Catholic College, Mount Isa

Fiona is the College's Careers Officer and does an amazing job to support students to achieve well at school and find rewarding post-school pathways.

Fiona personifies many aspects of Saint Mary Mackillop's quote "Never see a need without doing something about it". Fiona is a generous and caring staff member and is loved by all. Fiona is a leader in her field of Career Education and has a strong belief that all young people can succeed in their chosen career. She will persist to find the right work experience for a student and continues to engage with young people after school, to ensure they find 'their place'. She is an extraordinary staff member who contributes invaluably to the lives of the young people of Good Shepherd Catholic College in Mount Isa.

Toni Schneekloth 
St Joseph’s Catholic School, Cloncurry

Toni Schneekloth is passionate about her role of Pastoral Leader at St Joseph's Catholic School, always going above and beyond to make St Joseph's the best school for our staff, students and community.

Toni continuously and consistently demonstrates outstanding service to others in the school, education and community. Toni is engaged in a number of community events and is always thinking about things she can do to improve the everyday lives of students.

Toni is an integral members of the St Joseph's Catholic School community and is a big driver of the wellbeing of both staff and students.

Wendy Buchanan 
St John Bosco Catholic School, Collinsville

Wendy organises and implements the school’s Community Outreach Program. This leadership program provides the students with opportunities to become involved and volunteer for some of the Collinsville Community groups. Groups that the students visit with Wendy include the Collinsville Country Women’s Association, Collinsville St Vincent de Paul thrift shop and the Collinsville /Scottville Community Kindergarten. This program is a great opportunity for the students as upcoming leaders of the community to make and form positive relationships with the members of these organisations. This program gives our students an opportunity to give back to their community.

By her example Wendy demonstrates outstanding service to others and models to students what being a community minded citizen is all about. The school appreciates all that Wendy does for the St John Bosco Catholic School community.

Zoe Brown
St Margaret Mary’s College, Hyde Park

Zoe develops sincere, authentic relationships with all students, in particular our First Nations students. She provides support, stability and guidance to students in all parts of College life – cultural, academic, sporting and pastoral. She has the ability to individually know the students, their strengths and weaknesses, their family and care arrangements, as well as their interests and sporting achievements. Each student is known to Zoe and she is a constant support to them. Zoe is an active member of the Holy Spirit Parish and is a member of the Sacramental Program. She is a wonderful role model for all in the College Community. 

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