Right on the heels of our recent announcement of our Principal Catherine Misson being recognised now, two years in row, in The Educator’s 2017 Hotlist for her outstanding contribution to the improvement of student and organisational outcomes, we have further exciting news.
On Monday evening, Catherine was honoured to receive a prestigious Victorian Fellowship from the National Awards Committee of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL) for her services to the education field. This Fellowship is conferred to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the improvement of student and organisational outcomes, and to those who possess high level leadership skills, an ability to inspire and influence, and to creatively implement change.
This award was closely followed by a surprise announcement on Thursday evening from the Principals Australia Institute (PAI), awarding Catherine with a John Laing Award for Professional Development. The annual John Laing Awards for Professional Development acknowledges principals in every state and territory who demonstrate outstanding leadership in providing professional learning in schools. The award celebrates the contribution of school leaders who have undertaken professional development, and supported the professional learning of teachers and other school leaders.
Catherine Misson is widely recognised as a trail blazer in education but this latest award in particular, recognises Catherine for the development of CEE (Centre for Educational Enterprise) uniting world educators and related professionals through learning events, philanthropic activities, shared knowledge, research and global partnerships to improve and implement outstanding practices in education. CEE offers teachers a fully customised professional learning program to leverage their interests and maximise their development. An exciting component of these offerings are the teacher externships. Teachers can identify leaders in the industry and not-for-profit-sector and seek a placement with them to experience the cutting edge of workplaces with the aim that these teachers return to MGGS to provoke thinking and to plan student experiences that will encourage the development of key attributes and understandings.
Catherine’s drive to create student centred practices has resulted in an historical shift in the design of schooling at Melbourne Girls Grammar. A blended learning model that breaks the nexus between student autonomy and scheduled class time has meant that students authentically shape their experience of learning. Fundamental to this focus on increased student agency is Catherine’s commitment to making wellbeing the wrap around for academics. Time is prioritised by students to integrate physical, social and emotional self-care with academic studies.
An evidence based practitioner, Catherine is also leading on big data agendas in school practice, innovating in the digital ecosystem domain. At Melbourne Girls Grammar, the appointment of a Chief Digital Officer, full BYOT program, and customised learning platforms enable teachers and support staff to effectively leverage data to monitor and evaluate innovation for value add across all aspects of educational programs. These innovative agendas and outcomes mean that students at Melbourne Girls Grammar are developing an enterprising mindset, with enhanced capacity to thrive in the fast digitalising economy and online community spaces.
Catherine is extremely humbled and honoured for the recognition from both ACEL and PAI, and thanks the school community for their unwavering support.