Recognising outstanding and inspirational teachers

by Nicole Gundi | Mar 23, 2017

Most of us can remember that one stand-out teacher in school who made learning fun. The teacher who made us feel valued and respected and was the reason why we beamed with enthusiasm as we dreamed of a bright future with no limits.

We recently announced the 13 ASG National Excellence in Teaching Awards recipients, and they too remember the impact their teachers had on them as role models and mentors, shaping their lives and ultimately their careers. 

ASG NEiTA group shot2 - FB


If you ask ASG NEiTA recipient Jim Christodoulopous, growing up in rural New South Wales in the 70s, he struggled to fit into school where his name was ‘mocked’ andJim - ASG NEiTA appearance, ‘barely tolerated’. It wasn’t until a new male teacher arrived at the school who took an interest in Jim’s culture and incorporated his background into his teaching.

It’s this philosophy that drives Jim’s teaching today-inclusiveness and always encouraging his students to embrace and love their learning. Read more about Jim. 

ASG NEiTA recipient Erica Prosser Erica Prosserloved learning but was a high school drop-out at the age of 15. She’s now the foundation principal of Holy Spirit College (Cairns/Cooktown), literally building the school from the ground up and works with students who have become disengaged from formal schooling, many of whom have criminal histories, substance abuse issues and volatile and unreliable behaviours and homes. Read more about Erica.

Both Jim and Erica are among 13 national ASG NEiTA recipients who humbly and graciously accepted their accolades in front of close family, colleagues and friends presented with their professional development grants and ASG NEiTA apples.

Parents, grandparents, secondary student councils, school boards, councils, parent associations, committees of management and community organisations throughout Australia nominated these inspirational recipients. 

Chief Executive Officer of ASG NEiTA, John Velegrinis says the ASG NEiTA recipients have all been recognised by their local communities for making a genuine difference to education and for supporting the educational aspirations families have for their children.

“I congratulate all of the ASG NEiTA recipients. These outstanding teachers and educators have earned the respect of their communities through their hard work, building trusting relationships and ensuring their love for education gets passed on to their students, creating a culture of lifelong learning.

Teachers have an enormous responsibility and our ASG NEiTA recipients take on this responsibility with humility, striving to always be accountable for their actions, working beyond what is expected of them and expecting nothing in return. Their joy comes from the challenge of ensuring their students flourish academically and socially, giving students choices and offering holistic solutions. This is why ASG NEiTA has thrived for the last 22 years. The community thanks and applauds you for your contribution to teaching the next generation of young Australians.”

The national awards are divided into four categories: leadership and development, innovation, community engagement and introducing, early career teacher.  For more information on the 13 national awardees, including profiles go to:

Nominations for ASG NEiTA in New Zealand open on 27 March and 3 April for Australia.   

ASG NEiTA media coverage:

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Meet the singing teacher who has been awarded for teaching science using songs

Early career award a ‘shock’

US Space Camp trip a dream come true

Saddleworth’s Sheree takes out National teaching award

A lesson in excellence

No students left behind a lauded plan

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