Six of state’s most inspirational teachers named for World Teachers’ Day



Six of Queensland’s most inspirational teachers and school leaders have been announced as winners of prestigious state teaching awards, as Australia celebrates World Teachers’ Day today.


The winners include an ’82 years young’ teacher who first started teaching at 17 years old in 1955 and is now inspiring the grandchildren of students she first taught, a Deputy Principal who has led the introduction of one of the nation’s most extraordinary school support hubs for students and their families, and a dynamic Mathematics teacher who has had more than half a million downloads of his lessons on YouTube.


Another winner was made a Year 11 and 12 Coordinator after just 18 months of teaching at a Logan school, due to her extraordinary care and pedagogical skills. A Townsville Science teacher who helps students to save endangered animals and the Great Barrier Reef, and an Executive Principal in Townsville who has played a key role in ensuring her school is years ahead of others across Queensland also won awards.


The winners of this year’s Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) TEACHX Awards are:


The TUH Health Fund Dr Roger Hunter OAM Excellence in Beginning to Teach Award:

Sophie Gruhl, Mabel Park State High School.


The Teachers Mutual Bank Dr Alan Druery OAM Excellence in Teaching Award:

Joel Speranza, Ormiston College.


The Schoolzine Merline Muldoon Innovation in Teaching:

Brett Murphy, Belgian Gardens State School.


The Teachers Mutual Bank Dr John Dwyer Excellent Leadership in Teaching and Learning Award:

Meredith Wenta, Kirwan State High School.


The QSuper Dr Joe McCorley OAM Outstanding Contribution to School Community Award:

Cathy Nixon, Cairns West State School.


The Courier-Mail Professor Betty Watts OBE Memorial Award for an Outstanding Contribution to Teaching:

Dell Rathbone, West Moreton Anglican College.


QCT Board Chair Professor Emeritus Wendy Patton said each winner showcased the extraordinary difference registered teachers made in their students’ lives and communities.


“This year, the COVID-19 restrictions highlighted the important role that teachers play in our communities,” Professor Emeritus Patton said. “We had a record number of nominations highlighting the outstanding work of teachers in all schooling sectors, and the early childhood sector, right across the state,” she said.

“It is impossible not to be inspired by the work of each of the 2020 TEACHX Awards winners. I thank and congratulate them all for the difference that they have made and continue to make, and I encourage all Queenslanders to say thank you to a teacher who inspires them on World Teachers’ Day today.”


The 2020 TEACHX Awards winners, who were chosen from 30 finalists and a record 387 nominations, were announced late yesterday at an inaugural virtual awards ceremony. The TEACHX Awards are the only Queensland teaching awards that recognise teachers from all schooling sectors and the early childhood education sector, across all subjects.


The QCT would like to thank, and acknowledge, its generous sponsors—Teachers Mutual Bank, TUH Health Fund, QSuper, Schoolzine and The Courier-Mail—for their support of the TEACHX awards, Queensland teachers, and the profession state-wide.

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