Monday, 10 Sep 2018

Two outstanding West Moreton Anglican College (WestMAC) teachers have confirmed their places in the top echelons of Australia’s teaching profession.

Teachers Justine Bomm and Donna Googe are among the first group of 25 independent school educators to be certified by Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) as Highly Accomplished or Lead Teachers (HALT) - the highest career stages of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

Ms Bomm and Ms Googe, who have both achieved Lead Teacher certification, joined their fellow HALT graduates at a celebratory event hosted by ISQ at Customs House in Brisbane on Thursday 6 September.

The teachers join a growing network of high performing Australian teachers. There are currently about 500 HALT-certified teachers nationwide.

Ms Bomm, who has dedicated 34 years of her life to teaching, said relationships had the greatest impact on student learning.

“I love it when you connect with a student and you see that they are willing to give you everything. The greatest learning outcomes are achieved in these cases,” she said.

Ms Googe, who has been teaching for 30 years, said creating an environment where students feel a “genuine sense of belonging, receive support to challenge themselves as learners and feedback to provide support for their progress, has an enormous impact on student learning”.

“I most love helping others to realise their potential to learn and see them fulfil that potential,” she said.

West Moreton Anglican College Principal Geoff McLay said: “This national recognition is held in the highest regard in our community. We are grateful for the professional contribution that Justine and Donna make to WestMAC and our students and congratulate them on their Lead Teacher recognition.”

Independent school teachers seeking national certification undergo a rigorous appraisal of their teaching practice. This includes demonstrating their proficiency against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers and undergoing peer and student reviews and classroom observations.

ISQ Executive Director David Robertson congratulated the West Moreton Anglican College teachers on their dedication to continually challenging their own teaching practices for the benefit of their students.

“For educators like Ms Bomm and Ms Googe, teaching is their heart’s work. As a state and as a nation we need to recognise outstanding teaching practitioners and work to retain these masters of their craft in the classroom where they can make the greatest difference to student learning and progress,” Mr Robertson said.

The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) works with all certifying authorities, including ISQ, to ensure the benchmark for those being certified is maintained and offered to as many teachers as possible.

AITSL Chief Executive Officer Lisa Rodgers congratulated the sector’s first group of newly certified expert teachers and ISQ for its support of national teacher certification.

Ms Rodgers said the number of nationally certified HALTs had more than doubled from about 250 to almost 500 in the past three years, as momentum builds across the country and particularly from Queensland.

“These talented teachers have proved they are all experts who are having a profound impact on the learning lives of their students and sharing their expertise with their colleagues, and we need to celebrate them,” she said.

“AITSL welcomes all 25 new HALTs into the national HALT network and also congratulates ISQ for making the program available so that together we continue to grow the number of HALTs across Queensland to the benefit of students across the state.”

Discover what inspired Ms Bomm, Ms Googe and their fellow HALT graduates to take up teaching, what they love most about their vocation and what taking part in ISQ’s national certification program has taught them by visiting ISQ.