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Melanie in the Running for Teacher of the Year

Melanie in the Running for Teacher of the Year

Orange High School teacher, Melanie Campbell has been named as one of three finalists and is in the running for the Teacher of the Year award at the prestigious Australian Education Awards.

Melanie is the only finalist from Western NSW for the annual awards, presented by The Educator magazine.

“It's all a little bit unreal at this point,” said Melanie, who is the agriculture teacher at Orange High.

“I knew about it a little before it was made public, but it was only when they announced it, that we knew there were only three nominations. That was when it hit home that this is really cool.”

It was Melanie’s Deputy Principal who nominated her for the award, which recognises the work of exceptional teachers and how the programs they’ve put in place are benefitting students.

“I run the Orange High Cattle team, that is probably the biggest thing we've done in the last little while,” said Melanie. “At the moment there's about 30 kids turn up every Friday afternoon for the cattle team. And in that last year or so we have also established an Agriculture Club that runs at lunch time.”

Melanie was also instrumental in establishing a Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden at the school.

“I think it is the only one or only one of a few in secondary schools in NSW,” she said.

Melanie grew up in Orange and is herself an alumnus of Orange High. She spent her early teaching career at schools in Coonamble and Moree, which cemented he love of teaching agriculture.

“I've always been interested in Ag. I've always had a love for animals, and I think it really was the animals that interested me the most,” said Melanie.

Passing on that love of agriculture to her students is a reward in itself, she said.

“It is always really interesting to see the way the kids respond to the animals and then see them decide that this is something they'd like to do! We have kids who are looking at going further afield and going into agriculture as a long-term prospect — that is exciting!

The Australian Education Awards will be presented in Sydney on 16 August, 2019.
Best wishes Melanie!

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