King's Birthday Honours for NSW educators

The NSW public education community has been recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours.

A split photo of two women. A split photo of two women.
Image: Former Riverside Girls High principal Judy King and former Elanora Heights Public principal Pam Pritchard. Photos: NSW Secondary Principals' Council and Turramurra Rotary Club

Educators from the NSW public system are among eminent Australians recognised for their service to the community in the King’s Birthday Honours.

Former NSW public school principals Pamela Pritchard (Member of the Order of Australia) and Judith King (Order of Australia Medal) were among those recognised for their contributions to education.

Ms Pritchard was principal of Elanora Heights Public School from 1988 to 1996 and a long-time director of Stewart House.

Ms King was principal of Riverside Girls High School from 1995 to 2010 and an executive member of the NSW Secondary Principals' Council.

NSW Department of Education Secretary Murat Dizdar said the recognition was well deserved and highlighted the excellence within the NSW public education sector.

“It demonstrates the deep and lasting impact teachers have on their students and society as a whole,” he said.

“These recipients are incredible role models and exemplify the extraordinary opportunities a career in teaching can lead to.”

Woy Woy’s Kenneth Dixon, the General Manager, Finance and Administration for the Department from 2005 to 2009, received an OAM for his services to youth and the Central Coast community.

South Coogee’s Carol Bunton was recognised with an OAM for her services to sport. Ms Bunton was the former coordinator of the Department’s School Swimming and Water Safety Program and is a life member of the Sydney East Primary Schools Sports Association.

Woonona’s Helen Pittman, who worked as a school support officer at various public schools in the Illawarra from 1970 to 2003 and is a life member of Russell Vale Public School’s P&C, was recognised with an OAM for services to her community.

Mr Dizdar said the recipients all had a long association with the Department.

“They have always been guided by a commitment to improving outcomes for their students – whether at a school level or system-wide,” he said.

“They exemplify the selfless commitment so many of our staff demonstrate each day in supporting students to achieve their best and I congratulate them on this well-deserved honour.”

A man and a woman shaking hands. A man and a woman shaking hands.
Image: Macquarie Fields High teacher Perry Celestino with Minister for Education and Early Learning Prue Car.

Macquarie Fields High School Head Teacher Perry Celestino, who has been teaching in NSW public schools since 1973, received the Public Service Medal for outstanding public service to public education, particularly in innovation to support teaching.

Mr Celestino arrived in Australia from the US during a national teacher shortage – and never left.

“I have been overwhelmed by this award. I started teaching in 1973 and have a passion for it to this day,” Mr Celestino said.

“To be recognised for this honour has been a highlight of my career.”

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