EXCELLENT LEADERSHIP IN TEACHING AND LEARNING
An innovative educator, who helps improve ‘at-risk’ students’ school attendance, behaviour and learning outcomes, is now leading a North Queensland Region Restorative Practices Training Team (NQR-RPTT) to help school staff across the district.
Kevin Butler, the Head of Townsville’s Stanton Lodge, which last year won the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the ‘Giving All Of Our Children A Great Start’ category, is coordinating the NQR-RPTT, as well as providing NQR Beginning Teacher presentations on the wellbeing of staff and students.
It follows his success at Stanton Lodge, a facility for Prep to Year 8 students who have disengaged from schooling.
Kevin and Stanton Lodge staff use innovative strategies, tools, programs and techniques to connect with students, who have often experienced trauma, mental health or learning challenges in their backgrounds. Neuroplasticity and brain function are taught to children, who also use apps, play games, watch YouTube, TED Talks, and other short videos and movies, and take part in kitchen and workshop activities, as part of the short-term Stanton Lodge program.
The program has led to a 73 per cent of students improving their school attendance when they return to mainstream schooling, and a decrease in OneSchool behaviour incidents for 75 per cent of pupils.
“Kevin’s leadership development has been constant across a long career, but has expanded exponentially in the last six years since the inception of the Stanton Lodge program,” Kevin’s nomination states.
“This is due to the very high level of demands in this field of at-risk children, and the outstanding success of the program and its outcomes,” the nomination form states.
“Ideally, Stanton Lodge will become an internationally renowned organisation in the development of these skills and will share their programs with other organisations to promote the development and wellbeing of young people who have previously been at risk as a result of their situations, not necessarily their actions.”
Kevin also provides professional development (PD) sessions on the Brain and Neuroplasticity, non-violent crisis intervention, and Advanced Classroom Profiling. He has presented to staff at the Child and Youth Mental Health Service (CYMHS) and the Department of Child Safety. He has also formed productive, ongoing relationships with many community organisations – such as the Police-Citizens Youth Clubs, Headspace, Centacare and the North Queensland Cowboys – as well as to parents and caregivers, teachers and school leaders.
Townsville State High School Principal Rob Slater says Kevin is an excellent leader whose commitment and passion to changing the lives of at-risk students is “second to none”.
Rob says Kevin is increasingly being asked to provide PD for other educators on how to reengage at-risk students.
“This is due to his distinct ability to combine the theoretical aspects of student development with practical strategies for teachers to use in classrooms every day,” Rob says.
“I have not seen others achieve this in the same way. He is a true leader of teaching and learning.”
Congratulations Kevin on being shortlisted for the TEACHX Excellent Leadership in Teaching and Learning Award.