Bonnyrigg teacher named in Global Top 50

A NSW public school teacher is in the running for an international prize.

10 September 2021
A teacher with a student
Image: Recognition for the whole school: Rebecca West in class at Bonnyrigg Public School.

Bonnyrigg Public School deputy principal Rebecca West has been shortlisted in the final 50 for the prestigious Global Teacher Prize.

The NSW Department of Education teacher is now in the running for the US$1 million prize that shines a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society.

Mrs West said she was very grateful to be recognised with such highly accomplished educators across the world.

“I am excited to have this global opportunity able to showcase the amazing work happening in my school and the level of dedication primary teachers have to the quality teaching and learning of young students,” Mrs West said.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for my school community to demonstrate the commitment we have all maintained to the continuity of learning, throughout lockdown and remote learning, and how we remain connected to support students, teachers and families.”

The final 50 were chosen from more than 8000 nominations from 121 countries around the world. The shortlist will be narrowed down to a Top 10 next month and the winner announced at an award ceremony in Paris in November.

Mrs West joins colleagues such as mathematics ambassador Eddie Woo and Rooty Hill High School’s Yasodai Selvakumaran who have been recognised in previous years in the global awards.

Bonnyrigg Public School principal Voula Hatzidimitriou congratulated Mrs West on behalf of the school.

“Championing and nurturing students towards being good human beings has always been what inspires her journey in education,” Mrs Hatzidimitriou said.

“This recognition is a testimony to her hard work and dedication and regardless of whether she moves forward from here, in our eyes, Rebecca is already a winner.”

Marianne Siokos, Director, Educational Leadership for the Cowpasture Principals Network, said Mrs West’s success was shared by the whole school.

“Rebecca is a good representative of a school where everyone works together to improve the outcomes of all children. This is a positive recognition for the whole school community,” she said.

Mrs West has specialised in special education after witnessing the struggles of her sister who was bullied at school and slipped through the cracks of the system, years later being diagnosed with aural dyslexia.

This commitment to special needs education was strengthened when two of her own children were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

Bonnyrigg Public School serves a multicultural community and has consistently excelled in its results.

Mrs West is part of the school’s leadership team and has refined the school professional learning structure to create a succinct method for teachers to collect and analyse student data to ensure student success.

A tech innovator, Mrs West is well known for her education YouTube channels Clever Pickles and Talkin’ Chalk.

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