Yalata teacher named as award finalist

FINALIST: Nicole Chataway of Yalata Anangu School has been named as a finalist in the 'primary teacher of the year' award category at the 2021 Public Education Awards. Photo: Shutterstock
FINALIST: Nicole Chataway of Yalata Anangu School has been named as a finalist in the 'primary teacher of the year' award category at the 2021 Public Education Awards. Photo: Shutterstock

A Yalata teacher has been named as a finalist in the 2021 Public Education Awards.

The long list of finalists in the awards has been announced, with the nominees acknowledged for having the education of children and young people at the heart of what they do.

Yalata Anangu School teacher Nicole Chataway has been named as a finalist in the 'primary teacher of the year' award category.

A teacher at the school for the past three years, Ms Chataway said the notification that she was a finalist came as a shock.

"When I got the email I was shocked as there are so many people who apply," she said.

"It was out of the blue."

Ms Chataway teaches the school's year 2-4 class and came to Yalata following some time spent in the Northern Territory and APY Lands.

She said spending time in the APY Lands was a "good experience" and that she was enjoying her time in Yalata.

"I did some work near Darwin after year 12 and that made me interested in remote communities," Ms Chataway said.

"Yalata has been amazing and I absolutely love it - the community is so great and you learn so much by living in a remote community and being a teacher in the community.

"I would never get that experience elsewhere."

She said being named a finalist was recognition for the work being done at the school, which helped the students to function well in the community with traditional knowledge and on a broader scale.

Spread across a range of categories, the 33 award finalists are all high-performing professionals in their field, helping to drive South Australia towards its goal of becoming one of the best education systems in the world.

Their achievements range from creating specialised programs supporting localised student needs to successfully implementing and leading key measures for system-wide improvement.

"Everyone in our state's public education system is working together as a connected team towards one goal, for children and young people in South Australia to be successful," Education Minister John Gardner said.

"This year's finalists are leading the way as South Australia continues to improve public education outcomes across the state.

"I would like to congratulate this year's finalists on being selected from such a strong field of applicants and I look forward to celebrating excellence in our public education system with them at the awards ceremony in November."

Finalists and winners will be awarded grants to undertake professional learning or activities.

Winners of each category receive $10,000 and two finalists for each category receive $2000.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in early November.