Tatachilla teachers among Australia’s best

Thirteen of our amazing teachers have been recognised in News Corporation's Australia’s Best Teachers series.

The series seeks to highlight the country’s most inspirational educators and elevate the profile of the teaching profession.

The names and descriptions of 'Tatachilla's Thirteen' appeared in The Advertiser online on 24 March 2023. Subscribers to The Advertiser can access the article here: Australia’s Best Teachers: Meet some of the great teachers as nominated by you.

Darren Vile; Emily Mikulcic; Lindee Hopkins; Seona Anderson; Alison Thacker; Minka Hackett; Scott Wendelborn; Richard Rowe; Fiona Gore; Helen Dorling; Trent Heaft; Kathy Best and Linda Wright were each nominated by members of our school community for their professionalism, student-centred approach and deep love of their craft.

We wholeheartedly congratulate them and include their citations below.

Darren Vile

Darren is a funny, kind and passionate educator, who works very hard for the students in his care. He is professional while also building authentic relationships with his students. As a Maths teacher, he faces the unique challenge of inspiring learning in a field that many find challenging. However, Darren builds confidence, makes learning fun and seamlessly delivers lessons that address both the curriculum and life. 

Emily Mikulcic

Emily has blazed a trail in personalised learning for our students. She creates custom learning pathways for students with specific learning needs and uses meditation with her students to help them transition from play time to deep learning. She mentors other teachers in these practices and has established an incredible learning culture where students are inspired to drive and own their own learning. She leads with grace and inspires love and respect from her students. 

Lindee Hopkins

Lindee has changed the lives of our children who have experienced trauma by introducing powerful methods for enhancing student wellbeing. She is a compelling thought leader in trauma-informed teaching and by applying Zones of Regulation she has greatly improved the ability of all her students to develop self-knowledge and practice self-control in the learning environment. Our most complex children are now thriving emotionally and academically and achieving goals that were previously unattainable. 

Seona Anderson

Seona has a superpower that few teachers can match. She turns learning into a living, breathing, all-dancing and powerful energy that infiltrates the high school classroom through her use of interactive seminars, play-acting and treasure hunts. She has the ability to turn the ordinary into something extraordinary. Her students are captivated by her dynamism and inspired to achieve the same levels of excellence, knowledge and positivity that Seona demonstrates through her teaching approach. 

Alison Thacker

Ali is a phenomenal leader in contemporary teaching practices and continually brings fresh knowledge about the teaching profession to our college to ensure that our students benefit from the most contemporary and powerful teaching ideas and tools. She is focused on each individual learner, working out-of-hours to ensure that the voices of our students are heard in the delivery of curriculum and to resolve the personal and systemic barriers that hold students back. 

Minka Hacket

Minka has found powerful ways of helping our local children to think in global ways, elevating their outlook on life, learning and culture and enabling them to understand complex social, economic and historic issues. She is a passionate advocate for the teaching of First Nations culture across our curriculum and she equips her students with great self-belief and an awareness of their strengths. Minka exemplifies excellence across the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. 

Scott Wendelborn

Scott is a standout educator who empowers his students to have control over both their actions and their learning, enabling them to be active participants in their own education and not just passive recipients of information. As a result, Scott’s students are independent and autonomous thinkers and problem-solvers who are unafraid to take educated risks, ask questions and explore new situations. Scott has also helped his students to grow as fair-minded and supportive collaborators. 

Richard Rowe

Richard is a champion of literacy in a world of declining language skills. His passionate and creative approach to English teaching has given rise to a new generation of powerful writers, readers and analysts. He has helped our students to become dynamic communicators and equipped them with the ability to express themselves effectively through the written word. Under his guidance, our students have demonstrated significant advancements in literacy, critical thinking and academic success.

Fiona Gore

Fiona is a fast-paced, energetic and passionate physical education teacher who successfully manages fantastic relationships with more than 400 children from Reception to Year 6. She never fails to celebrate student success and always encourages students to strive for excellence according to their individual ability and skill. As a result of her commitment, leadership and attention to detail, our Junior School Sports Day is one of the most loved days in the College calendar.

Helen Dorling

Helen is an early adopter of new innovations in teaching and as a result her classroom is a highly creative and stimulating place for our youngest students to learn and grow. She prioritises openness, safety and predictability and this gives our junior school students the confidence and freedom to explore and flourish. Helen’s beautiful rapport with students and her unfailing dedication make her a cherished and essential part of our school community. 

Trent Heaft

Trent has inspired many students at our college to pursue careers in the digital media industry and these students credit Trent with their professional success. Trent is an out-of-the-box thinker and his adventurous spirit encourages students to take positive risks and give them the confidence to explore their own creative ideas. He provides an exceptionally supportive learning environment and always provides mentorship and additional help and guidance to any student who needs it. 

Kathy Best

Kathy is a wonderful practitioner with an amazing passion for Physics. Her love for science shines through every lesson and her engaging plans, fun and practical activities and wicked sense of humour ensure that students are every bit as enthusiastic about Physics as she is. Kathy has inspired many to follow her into the teaching profession and her colleagues and students are privileged to work alongside her.

Linda Wright

Linda has been an inspiration many Tatachilla children and their families for more than 20 years. From organising Japanese exchange student placements and programs to facilitating outdoor education learning experiences to providing career and vocational advice, Linda always goes above and beyond. She is approachable, knowledgeable and gifted with a great sense of humour. Our students benefit hugely from working and dealing with Linda.

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