A PORT Macquarie teacher has been lauded as one of New South Wales’ best at the prestigious Australian College of Educators (NSW branch) Excellence in Education Awards.
Mark Brown, the director of the Iona Performing Arts Centre at St Columba Anglican School, was presented with the prestigious award at a dinner celebrating the state’s most passionate and gifted teachers.
The only regional teacher to be honoured by the Australian College of Educators, Mr Brown has spent the past 12 years transforming the Creative Arts curriculum and managing the design and development of the Iona Performing Arts Centre.
“I’m really passionate about the integration of the arts, particularly music, dance and drama, and the Iona Performing Arts Centre reflects that vision,” Mr Brown said.
“The Iona Performing Arts Centre champions the arts and has allowed St Columba Anglican School to offer a unique learning experience to students throughout the region.
“Students come to St Columba Anglican School to be part of something special. Currently more than 850 students or 80 per cent of the student body are involved in the program.
“The next step is to commercialise the facility and bring world class programs to regional Australia, like the Australian Ballet who will call the facility home for a week later this year.”
Australian College of Educators CEO, Helen Jentz, said Mark has made a significant contribution to Creative Arts education by linking the curriculum with entertainment industry courses and fostering cultural exchange with the community.
“It’s teachers like Mark that make students want to learn,” Ms Jentz said.
“His passion for education is infectious, and it’s not just the students who benefit, rather his colleagues and the entire school community.
“Teachers, like Mark, have the ability to shape and influence the lives of hundreds of students for the better. It’s wonderful the Australian College of Educators was able to recognise Mark for his outstanding contribution to the profession.”
The Australian College of Educators (NSW branch) Excellence in Education Awards recognise educators and/or educational institutions for excellence in educational practice. This includes, but is not limited to, demonstrated excellence in all areas of teaching and learning - curriculum development, student wellbeing, professional development, technology, pedagogy, leadership, innovation, scholarship, indigenous education, learning support and disability education.