MR. THOMAS ELLEY FROM SEFTON HIGH SCHOOL IN SYDNEY’S SOUTH WEST TAKES OUT TOP HONOURS
To commemorate “World Teacher’s Day” celebrated in Australia on Friday 31st October 2014, STUDENT EDGE, launched their inaugural TEACHER OF THE YEAR competition last month inviting its 650,000+ members to write in and explain why their favourite teacher should be declared the country’s most outstanding educator.
From over 100 entries, it was Year 9 student, Steven Phung from Sefton High School, located in Sydney’s south western suburbs, whose heartfelt letter highlighting the dedication of his History teacher, Mr. Thomas Elley, that stood out and really struck a chord with the STUDENT EDGE team.
Having worked at Sefton High School since 2011, Mr. Elley teaches over 200 students at the school each week and like many educator’s nationally, has become a respected mentor to so many of the young minds he teaches.
Part of student Steven’s submission said, “Mr. Elley dedicates his time, puts effortin teaching and respects everyone regardless, whether the student is a troublemaker or a perfectly good student, they get treated equally. My teacher has achieved many things. Unlike many typical achievements like awards Mr. Elley’s achievements are different. Mr. Elley has and still is assisting students, encouraging students and preparing for the years to come. Students are in debt for Mr. Elley’s doing. In my eyes, this is an achievement that out-values those of certificates or trophies”.
With no doubt they had selected a worthy winner the team from STUDENT EDGE last week paid a surprise visit, complete with camera crew, to Sefton High School surprising both Mr. Elley and Steven, who was unaware his submission had won the competition. Mr. Elley was lost for words when it was revealed Steven had nominated him and that he was officially the STUDENT EDGE TEACHER OF THE YEAR. And the surprises kept on coming with Mr. Elley thrilled to learn that along with the prestigious title he also received a 3 day, 2 night holiday to Bali, thanks to ACCOR. And to top it all off, LENOVO also came along to the party rewarding not only Mr. Elley but Steven and the entire class of 30 students with their very own LENOVO ThinkPads.
Once the initial shock wore off, Mr. Elley went on to say “Receiving this award is extremely humbling. I’m fortunate and lucky enough to be able to do a job that is so rewarding and enriching, and to be recognised as Student Edge’s Teacher of the Year for doing what I do is something I never anticipated. Being a teacher, watching students learn and grow – there’s reward in that every day. Receiving this award as well, though, is something that I will remember for a long, long time. I’m glad that I have been able to perform to such a standard that not only Student Edge recognised, but that my own students valued, found helpful, and appreciate. After all, at the end of the day, everything we’re doing is for the students.”
Four worthy runners up from around Australia have also been selected with each being rewarded an overnight stay at an ACCOR Group Hotel within their home city.
Choon Tan, General Manager, Members & Marketing of STUDENT EDGE said, “Student Edge Teacher of the Year was created to highlight Teacher’s Day and the amazing contribution made by teachers in shaping young lives.Student Edge has a long history of providing deals and services to over 650,000 students across Australia, and we’re especially excited to have our members nominate their favourite teacher for the title of Student Edge Teacher of the Year. It’s our way of letting students acknowledge outstanding educators, and we are grateful to our sponsors Lenovo and Accor Hotels in joining us to reward our winners. We congratulate our National winner, Mr Thomas Elley of Sefton High School in NSW as well as our 4 runner-ups, and look forward to making Student Edge Teacher of the Year an annual event”.
The full list of recognised teachers selected as part of the STUDENT EDGE TEACHER OF THE YEAR is:
TEACHER OF THE YEAR 2014
Sefton High School, NSW
Nominated by: Steven Phung (Yr. 9)
Rosewood High School, QLD
Nominated by: Kori Besgrove (Yr. 10)
VIC/ TAS Winner
Eltham High School, VIC
Nominated by: Jack Bridge (Yr. 8)
SA/ NT Winner
Mark Oliphant College, SA
Nominated by: Jodie Jebb (Yr. 10)
Duncraig Senior High School, WA
Nominated by: Christian Bien (Yr. 10)