TOP TEACHING: Surat State School principal Justin Washington is proud of his team, who were honoured at the state showcase awards.
TOP TEACHING: Surat State School principal Justin Washington is proud of his team, who were honoured at the state showcase awards. Tom Gillespie

Country schools shine at state Showcase Awards

STATE schools across the southwest have been recognised for their tireless work in educating rural kids, bringing home a swag of awards from the 19th annual Showcase Awards for Excellence in Schools.

Surat, Tambo, Roma and Charleville all boasted winning schools across a number of categories including Excellence in the Early and Primary Years, and Excellence in Rural and Remote Education.

Notably, Tambo State School's Kym McLean won the coveted Teacher of the Year award.

In Surat, the school was awarded the University of Southern Queensland Showcase Award for Excellence in Rural and Remote Education.

Nominated for their Digital Technologies program, Surat State School principal Justin Washington said receiving the award was an honour.

"It's a great achievement, and a nice little acknowledgement for the team of teachers, students and families who are involved in our program.

"It was great to have that recognition within the region, but then to be named a finalist at the state level and be up for that higher award was quite humbling as well,” he said.

Leading the way in tech education in the southwest, Mr Washington said his school had been running the program for about four years now.

"The program has been evolving since 2014, and it's been engaging students with digital technology through the new curriculum that is expected to be implemented across all state school by 2020.

"We got an early start on it, in order to give our kids the opportunity to access the digital technologies that are out there.

"They work with all kinds of ICT from prep through to year 10, and we also have extra-curricular activities for the students like robotics and drone technology,” he said.

With his school already ahead of the curve, Mr Washington is looking forward to being an example for other schools in the region.

THE AWARDS

Excellence in the Early and Primary Years - Charleville School of Distance Education, Roma State College (as part of iAIM Action Schools).

Excellence in Rural and Remote Education - Surat State School.

Teacher of the Year - Kym McLean, Tambo State School.

Principal of the Year, commendation - Matt Samson, Charleville State High School


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