OHS Awards of Excellence
Orange High School are riding a wave of success after two of their teachers and their school captain received a Minister’s Award of Excellence.
English Teacher Peita Mages and Science Teacher Kate Rogan were among 19 other teachers from across the state in being recognised for their teaching excellence.
“I feel really good and very privileged. You don’t do it for awards, you do it because you like the kids, you like your subject area and you are passionate about it and you want them to love your subject. You do it for that reason, but it is really nice to be recognised,” said Peita.
Kate added, “I am really honoured to receive this award. To be considered among some of the top educators in the state is just an incredible feeling”.
Both Peita and Kate were nominated by their colleagues who had to give a written testimonial about their teaching practice and results.
Kate said, “We were told that we were nominated and that was an honour in itself to think that your colleagues felt that we should be recognised for what we were doing. Then to find out that we had actually received it was an incredible feeling.
“I think part of receiving the award was to do with my students HSC results. I teach physics and in my first year of teaching my class average was 0.2 percentage above the state average which was pretty amazing. I was very stoked with that, it was an incredible achievement for the class, they are an amazing group of kids. I am also the Head Teacher of Wellbeing, so I work with students across the school in all year groups to make sure every student is known and valued and that they are cared for and supported in their learning. I think the way that I have worked in the classroom and in that role have contributed to receiving this award”.
Peita added, “My career highlight was definitely last year, and I think it is part of the reason why I got the award. My HSC results last year, we had a ripper of a year and we got three band 6’s in Standard English which is unheard of, particularly in the Central West, then another 12 band 5’s. We just had a really amazing year. Teaching that class would definitely be a career highlight. What they did was against the odds. Just working with kids is what I really enjoy. I have enjoyed doing SRC and working with kids to make them engaged and want to come to school. Everyday is exciting if you like your subject and you enjoy being around kids”.
Both teachers are at the end of their 5th year of teaching and they are certainly leading the way for others.
“There would be too many people to thank but I would say that it is the teachers that I have had that have shaped me the most,” said Peita
Kate concluded, “The presentation is really a celebration of public education and the excellence in public education. Having both gone through the public-school education the teachers we had really shaped how we teach in the classroom”.
Next up is Orange High School’s School Captain Elijiah Smyth who achieved a Minister’s Award of Excellence for Student Achievement.
“I am very proud and privileged that they see me as an excellent student. I am just thankful that I have received it.
“I think just the small things I have down around fundraisers, school events, community events, sporting achievements and academic. I think that is what the award covers and the whole aspect of school.
“There were 37 students who received this in the state. When I realised that I was 1 in 37 that is when it pressed on me that this award is prestigious. I am a quite person and I just do things to be a good leader and student, but it is good to see people recognised in the school and the community,” said Elijiah.
Certainly an incredible achievement to be among the best students in the state and Elijah believes it is all because of this.
“My family and teachers have all supported me and looked after me and just really reinforced that I can make a difference. I am just very thankful for what everyone has done for me,” he said.