Oakleigh Grammar’s educator Shelley Parkes has received two prestigious awards; she is the winner of The Educator Magazine’s Most Influential Educators Award and an Excellence Award.
Ms. Parkes is also a finalist for Primary School Principal of the Year – Non-Government, with the overall winner to be announced later in the year.
“I am humbled to be recognized in this way. Although I have been named as the recipient of these awards, the recognition belongs to a powerful team much bigger than me alone,” said Ms. Parkes.
The judges acknowledged that in Melbourne’s first pandemic-hit year of distance learning and teaching, Ms Parkes understood how to make the best use of distance learning. Her dedication and strong desire to empower all students enabled a distance learning model that was creative, responsive and flexible to meet the needs of individual students during what turned out to be a two-year period from transition to and from distance learning.
“Success is ours when we bring together passion, authenticity and professionalism. The students influence everything I do and the staff walks with me to make sure our students are at the center of every decision we make as educators. I am privileged to work with such an incredible community,” said Ms. Parkes.
In the category of Most Influential Educators in Australia, she is recognized for her clear vision and redesigned approach and delivery to Junior School learning and teaching by designing the unique Quartet model.
The Quartet model allowed the curriculum to run in parallel, both on-site and remotely, providing continuity for staff and students, meeting parents’ expectations for their child’s continued learning through four stages that students investigate, involve, explain and elaborate. It is recognized that each child develops and performs at their own pace; growth is unique to them in their time in school. Using different approaches, The Quartet Model stages allow students to develop into individual inquiry learners.
Ms. Parkes’ volunteer work has also contributed to her recognition as the most influential educator. She has worked with indigenous communities in Darwin and local charities closer to home.