She is a multi-award winning, selfless teacher who is now educating the third generation of some families.
And for the mining town of Moura, Norah Parsons isn’t just an exceptional and dedicated teacher and school leader, she is a mentor, a key to community success and an education ‘idol’.
Norah, who has been teaching at Moura State High School (MSHS) for about 40 years, won the 2016 Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute Choose Maths Award, a 2015 National Excellence in Teaching Award, and a Queensland Mines and Engineering Academy Outstanding Teacher Award. This year she mentored the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) Outstanding Indigenous Student of the Year and a QMEA Outstanding Student of the Year finalist.
But it’s the work that people don’t see which is most significant, MSHS’s Principal Joshua Duff says.
“She is selfless and always puts the needs of her staff, her students, our school and our community before others, and works herself to the bone to get the best out of our school,” Joshua says. “Norah is one of the keys to our success as a school and a community, and has created an astonishing legacy which will never be repeated in our little town,” he says.
“Simply, I have not come across a more dedicated teacher in my life.”
Norah’s dedication and experience has led to outstanding success for MSHS students. Since she became the Senior School Head of Department in 2015, all Year 12 students have achieved a Queensland Certificate of Education. Under the exceptional Mathematics teacher, every student studying Mathematics A or B in the years 2013 to 2018 received a grade of A-C.
Her ability to manage a classroom has been described as ‘second to none’ and Norah’s classes are often observed by colleagues and studied by beginning teachers.
Despite teaching for four decades, Norah is always putting up her hand to learn more and she is sought out as a mentor by colleagues and students.
“She is a beacon for other staff members when they require assistance in navigating the complexities of our school and community, and draws not just upon her teaching and leadership experience, but also the most recent research in developing our staff,” Joshua says.
“Norah has always gone above and beyond to ensure each student receives what they need to succeed,” he says. “During her career, she has built incredibly strong relationships with students, families and the community.
“She is an absolute professional in all that she does … In her 40 years as a teacher at Moura State High School, she has become a leader in all respects and is an idol for many.”
Congratulations Norah on your nomination.