2022 Teacher Awards

Teacher finalists

Amanda Benger (Joint CREST Nomination)

Temple Christian College, SA

With a background in science research, Amanda embarked on a science teaching career nine years ago. Amanda is currently teaching middle-school Science and senior Biology and Scientific Studies at Temple Christian College in South Australia. Amanda has a strong passion for student learning in science which allows students to build foundation skills along with the development of critical and creative thinking. Through her own learning journey in the area of developing Cultures of Thinking, Amanda has been able to implement a number of Thinking Routines (into classroom teaching) to help students develop their critical and creative thinking. 

Anna Nakos (Joint CREST Nomination)

Temple Christian College, SA

Anna has been a Mathematics, Science and Language teacher for thirty-two years and held multiple leadership roles at Temple Christian College. Currently, Anna is the Head of SACE and takes the Gifted and Talented program with extension Mathematics and support in Extension Science.  Anna is focused on supporting students to be excited about their learning, to be engaged and challenged at a level which takes them further whilst still allowing them to achieve personal goals and success. Anna is proud of her contribution to the community through the building of Scientific and Mathematic skills and receives emails from past students working in Scientific field and completing PHD’s.

Bobbi Smith

Aranda Primary School, ACT

Bobbi has been a primary school teacher in the ACT since 1998, and in 2004 completed a certificate in Gifted Education. In 2016, Bobbi was offered the role of Science Specialist Teacher at Aranda Primary School and began the Aranda Science Fair. By developing inquiry units that develop skills and knowledge through a themed based unit of work, Bobbi engages students and encourages creativity whilst catering for different learning needs. Bobbi expects curiosity from students, supporting them to investigate their world and develop their skills in literacy, numeracy, science, and all other key learning areas.

Daisy Kong

James Ruse Agricultural High School, NSW

Since 2014, Daisy has been teaching junior Science and senior Physics and Chemistry at James Ruse Agricultural High School. Daisy is currently delivering a STEM module in collaboration with the Technology teacher, actively engages in STEM programs and is a Senior Judge for the Young Scientist Competition. Daisy embraces opportunity to enhance teaching by learning the latest technology, software and platforms. Daisy has also been experimenting with innovative teaching processes such as Thinking Routines in the context of science and has been reviewing the value of a flipped classroom with the adjustment to remote teaching in 2021.

Daniel Edwards

Montello Primary School, TAS

For eight years, Daniel has taught across several roles including as a primary teacher, high school mathematics and science teacher and currently, a primary STEM specialist teacher at Montello Primary School. Daniel ensures students have access to a range of opportunities, facilitating involvement in an after-school Code Club, FIRST Lego League, STEM/Digital Technologies extension classes and student-led STEAM expos that engage the wider school community. Daniel is passionate about equipping students with the skills to solve real world problems and creates inquiry projects with explicit links to the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Through facilitating weekly STEM lessons in the Makerspace, Daniel shares STEM skills and understanding with colleagues and assists them to integrate engaging STEM learning opportunities across the curriculum. Daniel promotes open-ended science inquiry and supports both staff and students to engage with science investigations through participation in the UTAS Science and Engineering Investigation Awards, Tasmanian Science Talent Search and CSIRO CREST Awards.

Jessica Neilsen

Good Shepherd Lutheran College, NT

Jessica has been a science teacher for sixteen years, including in Alice Springs and Darwin, and currently teaches at Good Shepherd Lutheran College. As the Head of Faculty, a SACE moderator and marker, online support contact for remote and new teachers, and judge for the STANT Territory Young Scientist competition, Jessica endeavours to support the Scientific teaching community. Jessica’s approach to teaching includes nurturing curiosity, sharing passion and ensuring the students experience engages and prepares students for science learning beyond the classroom. Embracing teachable moments and exploring areas of student interest alongside them, Jessica sees the value of being a part of the learning journey.

Jodie Donaghey

Holy Rosary School, VIC

Jodie has taught as a specialist primary science teacher and classroom teacher across the education sector during the last twenty years and is currently a teacher at Holy Rosary School. With a passion for engaging children of all ability levels in science education, Jodie has shared her skills and experience through kindergarten and primary science workshops and is an advocate for school science fairs. Jodie has a deep understanding of individual learning needs, gained through extensive experience and a Masters of Specific Learning Difficulties. Jodie strives to engage and nurture the inquisitive nature of children by encouraging them to continually question the world around them.

Peta Scorer

John Curtin College of the Arts, WA

Since 2021, Peta has led the role of classroom science teacher at John Curtin College of the Arts, after changing careers from medical science. Peta also teaches students through the Academic Excellence Program, co-developed the Celebrate Science Program and facilitates the Roots and Shoots environmental group for students. Peta invest time in building caring relationships with students and provides an inclusive differentiated classroom, whilst maintaining high expectations. Peta encourages curiosity and teaches 21st century skills of critical and creative thinking, communication, and collaboration.

Rachel Pillar

Kangaroo Island Community Education , SA

Rachel began teaching at Flinders University as a demonstrator and tutor whilst completing a PhD in Chemistry. After moving back to Kangaroo Island, Rachel returned to study to become a Secondary Science Teacher and in 2015 began teaching at Kangaroo Island Community Education school across Years 6 – 10 science and SACE Stage 1 and 2 Chemistry. Rachel nurtures student interest in science through a combination of novelty and intrigue, developing the curriculum, and incorporating a variety of teaching strategies. At a SACE level, Rachel integrates different areas of the curriculum, teaching these through authentic, extended learning experience.

Sue Monteath

Wavell State High School, QLD

For over forty years, Sue has taught high school Mathematics and Science, currently teaching at Wavell State High School. Sue’s career path has seen two exchange years in Scotland and Oregon, several secondments and celebrated as the recipient of the Peter Doherty Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, and as an Australian Academy of Science Teacher Recipient. Sue encourages students to consider science as a way of thinking and more than just a body of knowledge. Through creating learning experiences which stimulate students to ask questions and to critically analyse data, whilst having fun and engaging in the activities along the way.

Award partners