Young achiever recognised for teaching success

MORE than 370 guests recently gathered to acknowledge Tasmania’s high achievers who were celebrated for their diversity across a range of fields.

Held in April, the Tasmanian Young Achiever Awards saw nine winners honoured for their contribution to the local community.

Kirby Medcraft, of Lutana, won the University of Tasmania Faculty of Education Teaching Excellence award.

She was also announced as the 2018 Premier’s Young Achiever of the Year.

Ms Medcraft is the assistant principal at Windermere Primary School where she generated significant change, particularly in regard to family engagement.

Ms Medcraft said she was “totally overwhelmed” to have won both awards.

“I honestly love doing what I do, so to be recognised for that was really special,” she said.

“We work hard at Windermere Primary to build and sustain connections with families and our local community and we want people to feel welcomed into the school setting and equipped with the skills to help support their children at home.

“We have so many terrific things happening at Windermere Primary, so it’s great to share just a snapshot of that with the community. “

Ms Medcraft’s kindergarten to year two ‘Counting Bags’ mathematics activities had 100 per cent involvement from families and the ‘Bedtime Stories’ afternoon saw more than 200 parents attend school to read with their child.

“Hundreds of studies show the effect parent engagement can have on student learning,” Ms Medcraft said.

“But nothing beats the feeling of working with families who feel comfortable in the school setting and empowered to be involved in their child’s learning.

“We realise more than ever that children’s learning comes from a strong partnership between schools and families.”

In her role, Ms Medcraft works closely with early childhood teachers, mentoring them and modelling best practice.

She recently returned from a tour in Italy learning about different approaches to education.

Ms Medcraft is also studying to complete her Early Childhood specialization and running Windermere Primary’s new Early Learning Centre.

Winners each received $1000 and a trophy.

The Awards were hosted by Southern Cross Television news presenter Jo Palmer.

The night was the culmination of a successful year, with 250 nominations received from across Tasmania.

The Tasmanian Young Achiever Awards has been promoting the achievements of young people since 1989.

Caption: 2018 Premier’s Young Achiever of the Year Kirby Medcraft with five-year-old Chase Sutcliffe.

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