Casey Teacher Makes Educator Hotlist
Casey Grammar School's Louise Piva has earned a place on this year’s prestigious Educator Hotlist – an annual list recognising the country’s most dedicated and innovative teachers. Louise is one of only a handful of teachers from Victoria who made the cut in 2023.
“I feel very humbled and definitely a little overwhelmed. It was certainly a shock as I had no idea I’d been nominated,” says Louise, Head of English. “I became a teacher because I believe education and teachers can make a real difference to young people and to the future they can create for themselves and others. That is why, 30 years later, I am still a teacher."
“I see students in my class succeed where they thought they couldn’t and that is why I’m passionate about this job. All students are capable of learning and I am committed to making sure that is the case in my class.”
Since arriving at Casey Grammar School, Louise has introduced a series of enhancements to the school including introducing technology to improve collaboration, communication, assessment and curriculum management across all year levels and units. She created activities to build independent reading and introduced the SmartLab online literacy program to monitor and diagnose language and literacy challenges and to find opportunities to extend highly capable students.
Louise and her team have also organised voluntary Year 12 workshops to give students preparing for exams extra assistance. With her support and encouragement, one Casey Grammar student who began their education in a special school will be studying creative writing at university next year.
Outside of work, Louise is completing a PhD which focuses on inclusive education and consultation.
The Educator Hotlist recognises outstanding teachers who have had significant influence in classrooms, schools and the broader world of education. Schools nominate hundreds of teachers whom they feel have made a real difference in their students’ lives and a panel of judges choose those who make the hotlist.
Louise has certainly earned her place on the national list and she is as passionate about teaching today as she was when she first began her career 30 years ago.
Australia’s Most Influential Educators
Casey Grammar continues to win national recognition with our Principal, Fiona Williams, and Head of Early Years, Vanessa Hodgkiss, today named as two of Australia’s Most Influential Educators. This year, Casey Grammar is the only school in the country to have two of its team receive this honour.
The awards, organised by The Educator, celebrate education leaders and changemakers who have made an impact on students, school communities and the education sector. They also recognise those who demonstrate innovation and creativity to drive Australia’s education industry onwards and upwards.
As a leader, Fiona continually strives for excellence in education while also recognising the importance of strong relationships, empathy and wellbeing across the Casey Grammar community.
In the past 12 months alone, Fiona focused on continuing to advance the school’s learning culture and she completed the Principal’s Leadership Academy at Harvard Business School. She also implemented the Casey Grammar Data Dashboard to enhance individualised learning, completed Casey Grammar’s Strategic Plan, and developed the Casey Model of curriculum planning and assessment.
“I firmly believe that schools should be a place of learning while also providing a supportive community and we aim to achieve this in every aspect of life at Casey Grammar,” says Fiona.
“With the support of staff and families, we have worked hard to build our school’s reputation and to implement innovative and improved education and wellbeing programs that inspire the highest standards. We are a school of highly capable teachers and academic achievement and a place where everyone can feel safe, supported and welcomed.
“To be recognised as one of Australia’s Most Influential Educators is an absolute honour that I share with each member of our hardworking community.”
As an energetic and innovative educator, Vanessa’s passion for evidence-based teaching helps students and staff reach their individual potential. She is a lifelong learner who is passionate about improving her practice and has an unwavering commitment to building school programs that deliver the very best classroom experience.
Since arriving at Casey Grammar last year, Vanessa has initiated a ground-breaking partnership with the University of Melbourne which focuses on how the science of learning can best enhance student engagement and self-directed learning. That work has informed and elevated the teaching and learning culture at the school.
In addition, Vanessa co-created Casey Grammar’s English Framework and supported the Junior School’s Inquiry focus on deeper thinking and purposeful planning. She has created professional development sessions for staff on thinking development, inquiry learning and evidence-based practice, and is a respected and valued mentor to the school’s Foundation to Year 2 teachers. “I am keen to find ways to bridge the gap between educational research and the classroom and to generate knowledge that makes the most positive difference possible for students,” says Vanessa.
“I am passionate about finding effective ways to benefit the learning and lives of students, their families and my colleagues. Since I became a teacher, my goal has been to lead and inspire through innovative teaching and research, to increase student engagement and to strengthen our learning community.”
School Principal of the Year – Non-government Finalist (Fiona Williams)
Primary School Teacher of the Year – Non-government Finalist (Vanessa Hodgkiss)
Casey Grammar’s outstanding education programs have again been recognised with two finalists in the 2023 Australian Education Awards.
Principal Fiona Williams is a School Principal of the year – Non-government finalist and Vanessa Hodgkiss is shortlisted in the Primary School Teacher of the year – Non-government category. As finalists in these national awards, Fiona and Vanessa have been recognised as among Australia’s best educators.
The Australian Education Awards reward effective leadership, commitment to the profession, academic achievements, and innovation. Both Fiona and Vanessa excel in all these areas. Their achievements underline the quality of Casey Grammar’s people and education programs and, with this being the second consecutive year the school has had finalists listed in both categories, highlights the hard work of all staff.
Primary School Teacher of the Year – Winner (Sandra Torcasio)
Sandra Torcasio of Casey Grammar School has been declared Primary School Teacher of the Year - Non-government at the annual Australian Education Awards.
At the award ceremony in Sydney on Friday (12 August), Sandra’s strong commitment to both her students and her own learning was acknowledged. The Australian Education Awards, presented by The Educator, reward effective leadership, commitment to the profession, academic achievements, and innovation. Sandra excels in all these areas. Principal Fiona Williams said that Casey Grammar staff and students have long known and appreciated how exceptional Sandra is.
School Principal of the Year – Non-government Finalist (Fiona Williams)
Primary School Teacher of the Year – Non-government Finalist (Sandra Torcasio)
Casey Grammar has been recognised with two finalists in the 2022 Australian Education Awards.
Our principal, Fiona Williams, is a finalist in the School Principal of the year – Non-government category and Sandra Torcasio is shortlisted in the Primary School Teacher of the year – Non-government category. As finalists in these prestigious national awards, Fiona and Sandra have been recognised as among Australia’s best educators.
This wonderful news underlines the quality of Casey Grammar’s people and education programs and highlights how hard Fiona, Sandra and their colleagues have worked over the past two years. The Australian Education Awards recognise effective leadership, commitment to the profession, academic achievements, and innovation.
*Award Winners announced 12 August 2022
Schools that Excel Award Winner
Casey Grammar School has been announced as the 2021 winner of The Age ‘Schools that Excel’ Award in the category of non-government school in Melbourne’s Southern region.
The award recognises schools that have shown sustained improvement over the past 10 years and have demonstrated significant advancement of VCE results in their region over this period. Casey Grammar School’s VCE students have been scoring 40 much more often in recent years than they were 10 years ago with 5.7 per cent of the year 12 cohort reaching the mark last year, compared with 0.4 per cent in 2011.
The school also achieved a VCE median score of 30 for the second consecutive year in 2020. Casey Grammar School has a strong focus on implementing strategies and tactics to ensure results continuously improve. These include capping enrolments, despite increasing demand.