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Deborah Kiehne


For Deborah Kiehne, excellence in leadership has been a key characteristic of her teaching practice for the last 38 years, regardless of the position title she holds at the time.

Throughout her lengthy career, Deborah has led her colleagues to develop a pedagogical philosophy that holds the child at the centre of learning.

To this end, she has driven professional learning around Abecedarian Training and Age Appropriate Pedagogies (AAP) with early years staff, worked collaboratively with parents and the local community to build partnerships in early childhood education, and facilitated initiatives such as supporting students’ successful transitions into the primary school.

As Bay View State School Principal Peter Black explains, she is simply an “amazing educator…who has dedicated her career to the improvement and education of children.”

In her role as Deputy Principal at Bay View State School, Deborah’s leadership can only be described as pioneering. As a Foundational Leader in 2010, she was responsible for a whole-school curriculum development effort and she co-created the school’s Strategic Improvement Plan and Annual Implementation Plans, and established a clear vision for Bay View’s improvement trajectory.

She also established strong partnerships with the Marzano Institute and led whole-school professional research in relation to the Art and Science of Teaching, which subsequently informed a whole-school improvement agenda.

Moreover, she has implemented the use of learning goals and success criteria across the school, and established foundations towards the Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum, including the use of proficiency scales and formative and summative assessment.

Deborah has been integral in Bay View’s unique Multi-Age Class philosophy of teaching and learning, and her efforts have led to a succession of Multi-Age classes within the school’s infrastructure.

Further, Deborah has supported her staff to integrate strategic use of data into their daily practice, and driven an evidence-informed approach to teaching practice across the school. Now, teaching staff actively discuss student performance data in Mathematics and Reading Comprehension to enable them to target specific strategies to support student learning.

Deborah’s transformative work at Bay View continues. She is currently researching and leading the implementation of AAP as an approach to teaching in the early years at Bay View. She will lead the implementation of AAP from Prep to Year 6 and will establish a process to build teacher knowledge and capabilities, which will include implementation of a strong mentoring system and the use of feedback given through Learning Walks.

Next year, she plans to attend a study tour in New Zealand to learn how the philosophy of the Reggio Emilia approach has translated into a new context which considers the history and culture of a different space. In this instance, there are strong links to Maori culture. With this new knowledge Deborah plans to build partnerships within Bay View local community, including the indigenous community, the Quandamooka people. Through these partnerships she will establish common processes and understandings which will support successful transitions into and through the early years of schooling.

Congratulations Deborah on being shortlisted for the TEACHX Excellent Leadership in Teaching and Learning Award.

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