Paddy Macleod is a Science Head of Department at Kirwan State High School in Townsville who refuses to let the regional location of the school impact the opportunities for his students or staff.
In a school where over 60 per cent of the students pursue a vocational pathway, Paddy has opened doors for his students by sourcing funding to build a state-of -the-art Aquaponics Centre. Because of his commitment and drive to support his students to succeed, Paddy has enabled students under his teaching to pursue a STEM related career by gaining certificates in Aquaculture as well as Sampling and Measurement.
Paddy also develops excellence in students wishing to pursue a tertiary pathway.Two students under Paddy’s guidance were awarded the prestigious Peter Doherty Excellence in STEM award last year, and another was selected to attend the International Youth Science Forum in Germany. Because of Paddy, these students are now pursuing their dream tertiary education STEM pathway.
In 2014, Paddy was the winner of the QCT Excellence in Beginning to Teach Award, and in 2017 two of his staff were finalists for the Awards, and they have both since been promoted.
“As a Science Head of Department, through collaboration and his commitment to leadership and personal growth, Paddy has demonstrated a strong capacity to improve teaching and learning within his department, our school and across the region that will better prepare a large and diverse group of students for a life beyond school.”
Paddy undertook a six-month Griffith University course in digital technologies which enabled him to implement a regional cross-curricular “Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow” challenge in 2018, preparing students—academic or not —for life in the 21st century. By inspiring students and teachers from all school sectors spanning Townsville, Mt Isa, Cairns and even distance education, the initiative required Paddy to develop training to boost the confidence and capacity of teachers across the region to lead their students in this area.
Demonstrating an ability to develop himself as well as others, Paddy’s commitment to opening doors for teachers and students both academically and personally is evident.
In 2016 Paddy initiated and continues to lead an innovative regional collaboration between the State, Catholic and Independent schools sectors. The collaboration identified three regional priorities; STEM engagement, teacher PD and collaborative curriculum development. This initiative enables schools and teachers to better prepare students for life beyond school.
To enact these priorities, Paddy’s leadership skills have led him to liaise with other bodies such as Inspiring Australia STEM Hub and James Cook University, which now delivers regular tailored professional development to teachers. .
Congratulations Paddy on your QCT Excellent Leadership in Teaching and Learning Award nomination.