Abbotsleigh staff honoured




It is with great delight that I congratulate three members of our teaching staff who have been presented with highly prestigious and very well-deserved educational awards on Friday 4 August, 2017. 

At a very special awards ceremony and dinner, The Australian College of Educators fittingly honoured our superb Head of Junior School, Ms Sally Ruston, and our wonderful Year 5 teacher, Ms Susanna Matters for their exceptional work and contribution to education. Ms Ruston received an ACE NSW Excellence in Education Award 'for excellence in leadership, as Head of Abbotsleigh Junior School, and in her Presidency of National and State Principals' Associations.' Ms Matters received the ACE NSW Young Professional Award, 'for excellence in teaching practice, and a high level of personal commitment to the teaching profession, demonstrating initiative and advocacy for young girls both within NSW and overseas.' A glimpse of the inspirational work of these fine educators can be seen in the citations below. 

Also this week, our dynamic and talented Chinese teacher, Mrs Ming Urwin, was honoured for her 'professionalism and commitment to quality education' by being awarded the highly esteemed Premier's 2017 Kingold Chinese Language Teacher's Scholarship. The scholarship will allow Mrs Urwin to travel overseas to conduct further research on project based learning in relation to the teaching and learning of Chinese. Mrs Urwin will visit schools that specialise in project based learning curricula in the USA, Canada, Singapore, Taiwan and China. She will then create her own project based learning curriculum which she will implement and share with other Language teachers as well as teachers in other faculties. 

Mrs Urwin received her award from the NSW Premier, The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian, MP, who, in a marvellous ceremony held at the State Library, congratulated Mrs Urwin on her success and dedication to teaching and learning. 
Congratulations Ms Ruston, Ms Matters and Mrs Urwin. We are very proud of you. 

ACE NSW Excellence in Education Award 2017 – SALLY RUSTON



'Sally Ruston has been Head of the Junior School at Abbotsleigh since 2000, having previously served in various teaching and leadership capacities at All Saints College (Bathurst), Tudor House (Moss Vale), Trinity Grammar Preparatory School and Newington. 
Sally has actively contributed to leadership in the education profession, not only through her school roles. but also through a range of professional associations and appointments, including:

•             Contributing on behalf of the Independent Schools Council of Australia – as a member of the Expert Steering Group – to the 'National Professional Standard for Principals' developed by AITSL;
•             Serving as both NSW and Federal President of IPSHA (Independent Primary School Heads of Australia) where she has been recognised for her wisdom, deep knowledge and extensive involvement in the broader educational community;
•             Dedicating herself to building the capacity of principals and providing an eloquent voice on behalf of principals through her life membership of the Australian Primary Principals' Association; and
•             Enabling professional development of educational leaders through her positions on the Councils of the Independent Schools Teacher Accreditation Authority and the AIS Leadership Centre.

As an educational leader at Abbotsleigh, Sally Ruston aims to create an environment where learning is seen as 'good, hard fun'. Sally is recognised by her colleagues for her focus on student learning and for seeking informed feedback to improve outcomes. 
Sally Ruston is [indeed] a most worthy recipient of the ACE NSW Excellence in Education Award.'

ACE NSW Young Professional Award – SUSANNA MATTERS


'Susanna Matters is recognised as an excellent primary educator at Abbotsleigh. In her five years of teaching, she has demonstrated care for her students and respect for the many gifts they bring to the classroom. She seeks to develop character in her students and aims to equip them with the confidence and ability to make a difference in the broader community. Her work on the rights of the girl-child in the not for profit sector is equally important to Susanna as she strives to use her teaching skills beyond the classroom.

At the school level, Susanna has demonstrated creative applications in mathematics teaching and she is passionate about embedding quality children's literature to stimulate inquiry. She designs rigorous units of work, having introduced a pilot team-teaching Latin for Literacy program into Stage 3 and developed STEM primary education resources for NESA. 

Beyond the classroom, she was the Australian delegate for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girls Scouts to the 54th United Nations Commission into the Status of Women, and she is a former UNICEF Australia Young Ambassador. Upon her return from Kenya in 2012, Susanna founded Goods for Girls, a not for profit organisation which aims to advance the school performance of girls in Kenya. 

In 2013, Susanna was named as the Australian Women's Weekly's inaugural 'Woman of the Future' for her work with Goods for Girls. She served as a board member of Girl Guides NSW & ACT from 2014-2016. In 2015, she received the New South Wales Teachers' Guild Certificate of Excellence for Early Career Teachers. 

Susanna recently completed a Masters in Gifted Education from the University of NSW which was awarded with excellence. 

Susanna Matters is a very worthy recipient of the ACE NSW Young Professional Award.'


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