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Catholic education teacher recognised in prestigious education awards

Ann Walton, an Education Officer with the Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst, has been awarded the prestigious Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL) New South Wales Individual Leadership Award for her work in leading educational initiatives in the Diocese of Bathurst. Ann has been recognised for her work in both schools and at a system level which have made a significant impact on the outcomes for students, teacher professional learning as well as the practice or culture within the profession at large.

Ann has been a member of the team who have been creating a Diocesan-wide contemporary learning model, termed the Diocesan Learning Hub, where students are able to study Extension subjects as part of one Diocesan combined class, ensuring equity for all regional students who wish to study higher level courses in their HSC year. In her work, Ann has built the capacity of a large number of teachers to teach and lead in this model of learning particularly in the area of Mathematics.

Ann leads a joint project with the University of Wollongong to provide Mathematics tutoring to students and mentoring to pre-service teachers. She has created a mentoring program in diocesan schools where pre-service teachers work with proficient Stage 6 Maths students to offer extension work. This initiative supports student learning and builds the capacity of teachers through ongoing professional development. Further, this initiative has been significant in recruiting staff to rural centres after university.

Ann also has a strong partnership with the University of New England having worked for them as a Research Fellow on the QuickSmart Numeracy intervention program. This year, through the SiMERR National Research Centre, she has been central in the trialling of a successor to OZCAAS for QuickSmart. This new application uses the FABS (Fast and Accurate Basic Skills) approach, to provide an in-house program that is simple to use and can be accessed by schools online throughout Australia.

Ann was recognised on Friday 21 October at the Australian Council for Educational Leaders New South Wales Branch (ACEL NSW) annual presentation of Fellowships and leadership awards at Rosehill in Sydney. Ann was formally acknowledged for her outstanding contribution to education in the Diocese of Bathurst and was among many distinguished educators. The Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst thanks Ann for her tireless work and congratulates her on this prestigious recognition.

Ann’s Professional Career:

Ann Walton is an Education Officer: Mathematics and Numeracy with the Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst. She has previously held the role of Year Coordinator at MacKillop College in Bathurst and has worked at St Matthews Catholic School in Mudgee and St Johns College in Dubbo. Over the past four years as an Education Officer, Ann has led teacher professional learning, from Kindergarten to Stage 6 where she works with teachers to develop their mathematical pedagogical content knowledge and improve student learning. Ann has been instrumental in the creation of an online Diocesan-wide contemporary learning model and has partnerships with multiple universities fostering the relationship between schooling and tertiary education and supporting students to access pathways beyond their schooling years.