From partnering with universities, to empowering teachers through the ‘Aspiring Leaders Program’, to leading one of the state’s most improved NAPLAN schools, to knowing each and every one of her more than 1160 students, Kim McNamara has made an enormous impact on both her school and across the state. The West End State School (WESS) principal has instigated professional development for teachers with educational leaders in their field and sent school delegations interstate to look at classroom and technological innovation in schools. WESS has also partnered with the Queensland University of Technology around a school-wide reading program and the University of Queensland around effective feedback. The research-based focus on lifting student outcomes has led to a big increase in reading and writing results, with the school named as one of state’s most improved in NAPLAN in 2017. WESS continues to perform well above the state and nation in all areas. WESS Teacher Librarian Tania Venuto says Kim is an outstanding leader who has “a beautiful rapport with the students, staff, parents and wider community of her school”. Kim makes it a priority to go out every day into the playground to speak to students and parents. “The students know her and love her,” Tania says. “She makes time to read to them–and they love it! We are a large school but she knows all of the students,” she says. Kim’s leadership reach extends far outside of her school. She is one of the lead facilitators of the Regional Aspiring Leaders Program, and is often asked to undertake performance reviews on other schools around the state as well as the opportunity to mentor many newly appointed principals. She has also been a member of both the Principals' Advisory Committee and the Principals Congress where she was elected as a representative for principals around the state. “Kim also seeks out opportunities for the leadership team and all of the staff to develop their skills,” Tania says. “Kim is always looking for ways to support teachers to be the best they can be.” Congratulations Kim on your nomination.
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