Neal Thomas, an English teacher at Sheldon College, has a passion for what the subject can teach young people by exposing them to life-changing themes and issues. “Neal feels privileged to be able to positively affect young people’s lives by planning and teaching units of work that have direct relevance to them as global citizens,” Director of Academics – Secondary Jarrod Pleass says. For 19 years Neal Thomas has taught secondary English at Sheldon and he has recently taken on the role of Literacy Support Specialist. He shares his love of English through quality instruction and positive reinforcement in class and nurtures a strong reading culture within the college overall.
A high percentage of his Senior English Extension students have shown steady improvement over Year 11, receiving Very High Achievement grades when they graduate from high school. Students have also achieved better results overall when taking the Queensland Core Skills (QCS) Writing Task. A keen professional learner, Neal continues to refine his pedagogy, attend workshops, become versed in numerous software programs and apps. Neal was a foundation staff member at Capalaba State High School (now State College), where he played a part in establishing curriculum and school culture. For ten years he was the Work Experience Coordinator and the Subject Area Coordinator for Drama, directing thirteen school musicals. Former students, through individual visits or at alumni events, seek out Neal to thank him for the difference he has made to their lives over the past 40 years of teaching. “He is an outstanding teacher in every respect, and a gentleman to boot,” Jarrod says. Congratulations Neal on your nomination.