SPECIAL TEACHERS: Hervey Bay Special School teaching award nominees Roz Barker, Krissy Jensen and Nicci Nielsen.
SPECIAL TEACHERS: Hervey Bay Special School teaching award nominees Roz Barker, Krissy Jensen and Nicci Nielsen. Cody Fox

Hervey Bay teachers up for state awards

HERVEY Bay Special School students have had four teachers who consistently go above and beyond for their students recognised in state awards.

Students were able to experience an on-campus library for the first time thanks to their teacher Nicola Nielsen.

While Rozica Barker is revolutionising the curriculum and teaching of senior secondary school students.

Sign language, songs, technology and bright pictures are used by second-year teacher Krissy Jensen to engage her Prep to Year 2 students at Hervey Bay Special School.

Kathleen Heath has worked tirelessly helping students to become independent adults and secure employment following graduation.

Ms Barker and Ms Nielsen were both nominated in the Queensland College of Teachers awards under the 'Excellent Leadership in Teaching and Learning Award' category.

Krissy Jensen was nominated under the Beginning Teacher's Award and Kathleen Heath has been named in the Excellence in Teaching Award.

HBSS head of curriculum Belinda McNeill said not only are both Ms Barker and Ms Nielsen excellent teachers but they also provide leadership and mentoring for others.

"Roz has been instrumental in developing many Senior Secondary programs, including academic and transition programs for life post-school,” she said.

"Roz has built strong partnerships with the community including potential employers, work experience providers and other lifestyle agencies.

"Her work has resulted in many positive outcomes and a smooth transition for students in their lives beyond school.”

Access to these programs has been achieved by providing teachers a OneNote platform which Ms Barker developed.

Ms McNeill said as the school's Literacy Coach, Ms Nielsen works not only with students but also with staff.

"She assists them to implement the school's Four Blocks To Literacy approach and building their expertise in communication,” she said.

"Nicci incorporates and models the use of Augmentative and Alternative Communication to improve access to the curriculum and the ability to communicate for students with complex communication needs.”

Ms Jensen works daily with Auslan interpreters in her classroom and collaborates closely with occupational and speech therapists, Autism Queensland and a guidance officer to support the complex needs of her students.

"Ms Jensen has worked hard and has built a strong relationship with all students in her class,” Ms McNeill said.

"She caters to their individual needs; academic, social and emotional and implements the curriculum to suit each student.

"Krissy works with families, therapists and other specialists to cater for the individual requirements of all students and displays a level of professionalism beyond her years of experience.”

Students have been inspired to join the Royal Australian Navy as cadets after hearing stories from their teacher Kathleen Heath, who served for seven years.

The school's award-winning tuck-shop program, designed by Ms Heath, provides students with real-world skills and capabilities through vocational education and training courses in hospitality.



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