St John’s College, Dubbo teacher achieves elite status

Mrs Natalie Polak, Learning and Teacher Coordinator at St John’s College, Dubbo has recently achieved national teaching accreditation at the Highly Accomplished Level. Natalie is now part an elite group of 170 higher level teachers in NSW.

Natalie was presented with a medal acknowledging her achievement by The Hon. Rob Stokes, NSW Minister for Education, at the NSW Education Standards Authority Teacher Accreditation Award Presentation in Sydney on 11th September 2017.

Natalie said she was humbled to have her teaching knowledge, practice and engagement celebrated. She was also proud to represent St John’s College and Catholic Education, Diocese of Bathurst at this distinguished event.

When asked what the accreditation means to her, Natalie said, “Being recognised as a Highly Accomplished teacher has open the door to wonderful professional opportunities”.

This year Natalie was invited to be a member of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) Expert Standing Teaching Committee.

“I am very fortunate to be able to work every day with young minds and progressive educators at St John’s College and share my insights on education at a national level now with AITSL,” said Natalie.

Principal of St John’s College, Mrs Kerry Morris said, “Natalie is an outstanding teacher. As a member of the College leadership team, Natalie works collaboratively to enhance the learning experiences offered to teachers and students to drive greater growth. In particular, Natalie plays a significant role in developing teachers, providing strategic leadership that promotes innovation and excellence in teaching practices throughout the College”.

Accreditation is the structured process through which teachers demonstrate quality evidence-based practice over time, by applying the knowledge and skills articulated in the standards. Teachers seek accreditation at the higher career stages as a means of having their current higher level capabilities as a teacher recognised.

Mrs Jenny Allen, Executive Director at Catholic Education, Diocese of Bathurst, explained the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers apply to all career stages.

“The Standards define the knowledge, practice and professional engagement needed for high quality, effective teaching that improves student learning outcomes. The standards use nationally agreed indicators of teacher quality to guide the preparation, support and development of teachers throughout their careers,” she said.

“Natalie is an excellent example of the calibre of the leaders in our schools. By developing herself and building her expertise as a teacher, Natalie is able to develop others based on the dimension of our Model of Christ Centred Learning, which focuses on developing a learning culture that deepens insight and meaning,” said Jenny.

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