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22 October, 2020

Extraordinary Programs See Teacher Recognised

Her work is described as life-changing but Cairns’ only finalist in Queensland’s prestigious TEACHX awards credits her team and the strength of families at her school.

By Nicole Gibson

Cairns West State School (CWSS) Deputy Principal - Engagement, Cathy Nixon is one of five Queensland teachers shortlisted for the TEACHX Outstanding Contribution to School Community Award.

 Since joining the school five years ago, Ms Nixon has led countless initiatives to improve the lives of students and their families, resulting in a 40 percent reduction in suspensions and 50 percent calmer classes.

 CWSS Principal Michael Hansen said the contribution Ms Nixon makes to students and their families on a daily basis is genuinely life-changing.

 “Her ability to create, maintain and support parents to engage in their children’s education is a benchmark for exemplary practice in a school setting,” Mr Hansen said.

 Ms Nixon is the driving force behind the school’s “It Takes a Village” strategy which provides families and students with school-based access to dozens of external support services, they may otherwise find difficult to reach.

 These include medical, legal and counselling services, an on-site foodbank and other government, sporting and community agencies like The MaraWay Community Hub.

 Ms Nixon said she is overwhelmed by the recognition and credits this to CWSS’s team of exceptional educators and the commitment students’ families have to seeing them achieve.

 “All of our families are really very strong,” Ms Nixon said. “All our parents want the best for their kids and all our families want their kids to succeed.”

 Ms Nixon said CWSS adopts a ‘whatever it takes’ approach and isn’t afraid to do things differently.

“Success is different to different people,” she said. “Sometimes the system needs to be tweaked a little bit to make that happen.”

 The winner will be announced at the annual Queensland College of Teachers TEACHX awards on 29 October, the day before World Teachers’ Day celebrations.




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