An Illawarra educator, school and student have been honoured with a 2021 NSW Minister's and Secretary's Awards for Excellence.
Shannon Stanbridge from Scarborough Public School won the Secretary's Award for Excellent Service.
Miss Stanbridge was especially praised for being instrumental in developing an inclusive learning environment at the school.
The School Learning Support Officer (SLSO) invests her time and energy into every student in her care, identifying their specific needs and the most appropriate adjustments to assist them to engage in a mainstream classroom environment
Miss Stanbridge also works in close collaboration with the classroom teacher, taking on feedback to continually refine her practice.
Her proactive approach, combined with her strong emotional intelligence enables her to identify student trigger points and challenges before they escalate, establishing a trusting environment where every student feels known, valued and cared for.
"It's an honour. I absolutely love my role at the school," Miss Stanbridge said.
"I enjoy building strong and trusting relationships with all students and supporting them on their learning journey."
Highly committed and diligent Keira High School student Aisa Karalic has been awarded the Minister's Award for Excellence in Student Achievement.
In her leadership role as school captain the 17-year-old demonstrates great integrity and respect for all.
Aisa said she took pride in setting high standards for herself and contributing to her school community at every opportunity.
She is also doing well in her studies and is maintaining an exceptional level of achievement in all of her HSC courses.
"I'm thankful for the award. I just try the best I can academically as well as in my sporting activities," Aisa said.
In 2020 the teenager shone at a gymnastics event in Texas, with a win in one discipline and placing fourth in another. She has also represented the school at zone and state level at swimming, athletics and gymnastics.
Topping out the llawarra winners is Towradgi Public School.
Its School Wellbeing Frameworks - A positive school experience for all, saw the school presented with the Secretary's Award for an outstanding School Initiative.
A team of dedicated staff guided by assistant principal, Brent Pritchard and wellbeing team coordinator, Aimee Woodley have worked intensely over two years to bring this initiative to fruition.
It involved an intense and honest self-reflection on school practices, surveys of all stakeholders and research.
The team created a wellbeing framework to support all students to build resilience, show empathy and promote positive self-esteem and relationships with others.
Social-emotional learning, Aboriginal wellbeing practices and a supportive approach to mental health are key aspects.
The framework is aligned to NSW syllabus outcomes and reflect ACARA's Personal and Social Capability Learning Continuum.
"It was just a massive team effort from students, teachers, our school and Aboriginal community, all working together to make this program a massive success it was," Mr Pritchard said.
"We're very humbled with the receiving of this award and very grateful of the recognition."