A STRONG team effort helped Warracknabeal Secondary College win a Victorian Education Excellence Award on Friday.
The college was a finalist for two awards – the Teachers Health Fund School Leadership Team of the Year Award and Secondary Principal of the Year.
Principal Tony Fowler said the college won the school leadership award, beating John Monash Science School and Northern School for Autism.
He described the awards event in Melbourne as overwhelming.
“Our award was the last one of the night so we were pretty tense for a few hours,’’ he said.
“When we were announced as winners of our category we erupted into a frenzy of handshakes, hugs, kisses and the odd high-five.
“It was pretty special.’’
The school’s leadership team includes Mr Fowler, Melissa Thompson, John Bish, Louise Dower-Amor, Julie Powell, Linley Arnold-Wardle, Jordanne Horn, Megan Harley and Heather Hall-Schulz.
“When we were announced as winners of our category we erupted into a frenzy of handshakes, hugs, kisses and the odd high-five."
But Mr Fowler said the win was a whole-school effort.
“In the acceptance speech, Melissa Thompson acknowledged not only the incredible contribution of all team members, but all staff in raising the bar on our performance in the classroom to ensure students receive high-quality instruction,’’ he said.
“The model of leadership for which we were being acknowledged is one that comes from the bottom up, rather than top down. Some academics call this inside-out.”
Mr Fowler said the school would use a $25,000 award to study Open-to-Learning under the instruction of its creator, New Zealand Professor Viviane Robinson.
He said the experience of nomination to win was exciting and humbling.
“It highlights the strength of a small rural school in providing a high quality education to its community,’’ Mr Fowler said.