Taroom State School
Deane Hay understands the challenges facing geographically isolated students and is determined to do everything she can to overcome them.
The Taroom State School English, History, Drama, and Geography teacher is well aware that rural students receive far fewer opportunities than their urban counterparts. They are also faced with the daunting task of leaving their local communities when they need to transition to boarding schools closer to the city for Years 11 and 12.
Determined to provide equal opportunities for rural students, Deanne successfully applied to the Regional Arts Development Fund for a grant to stage The Lion King Junior, a huge production involving students from Preparatory to Year 10 working together as cast and crew to put on a performance of which the whole community was proud.
Under Deane’s leadership, the students networked with experienced members of the community to build their skills in theatrical production, problem solving, teamwork, and time management. By the end of the production, her students had a renewed sense of self-confidence.
“Though Deane possesses the capability to venture into school leadership positions, she recognises that her passion and calling for education lies in the classroom with the young people she nurtures,” colleague Karen Wolski said.
Deane’s commitment to nurturing students from Taroom, a town 380km northwest of Brisbane with fewer than 900 people, has seen her coordinate a school homework club to ensure that students from all socio-economic backgrounds have the opportunity to achieve learning success.
Recently, she was supported by her head of department to introduce a new self-directed learning project to the school’s elective program. Inspired by Google’s 20% Time policy, the project gives students the opportunity to pursue their passions and goals that lie outside the school’s traditional curriculum subjects.
Deane is also using her passion for providing equal opportunities to regional students to assist other schools in the region. She has represented the Miles Cluster at the Darling Downs “Good to Great” training, where she led teachers in professional development in explicit instruction.
She then channelled this training into leading the school’s initiative to develop a new pedagogical framework aimed at improving writing across all grades. Her work is now being used by other schools in the Miles Cluster to build capacity, capability, and consistency in their teaching of the curriculum.
Congratulations Deane on your nomination.
By Claudia Farhart.