For Andrew Cooke, Head of Junior Secondary at Marsden State High School, supporting teacher development and forging strong ties with the community are as important as the provision of high quality teaching and learning in his own classroom. As an English Teacher and Head of Junior Secondary, Andrew has run extra curricula tutorial programs for junior students, served as the English Coordinator for Year 7 and supported teachers to deliver lessons that equipped students with 21st century skills. Alongside providing extensive support for students, Andrew has played a critical role in supporting preservice teachers from the variety of universities that Marsden partners with.
Recalling what worked for him during his own professional experience, Andrew has worked with early year’s teachers in Marsden’s Mentoring Beginning Teachers program; a comprehensive and highly supportive program for beginning teachers. Outside the school community, Andrew demonstrates continued commitment to his professional development through engagement with professional development opportunities such as the Griffith University Creating Futures Summit, where he was able to discuss with other teachers some of the best ways to support early career teachers transition to the workplace. Furthermore, Andrew has worked hard to offer support for students’ mental health and wellbeing through applying some of the learning garnered from conferences focused on Positive Behaviour Strategies. To better support student transition into high school, Andrew frequently visits feeder primary schools to offer teacher training, immersion days, performances, excellence trials and important transition dates to support both students and parents make the move into secondary schooling smoothly and easily. However this is not the extent of Andrew’s community engagement, and to provide students with the best possible learning opportunities, he has forged strong partnerships with a range of businesses, including Macquarie Bank and the Ardoch Youth Foundation to support improved literacy for students. This community engagement, alongside his constant correspondence with parents and participation in community events, is testimony to his commitment to supporting the Logan community and Marsden students to succeed. Congratulations Andrew on your nomination.