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The Educator’s Hot List 2020 – Australia’s Most Influential Educators

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On Wednesday 12 August 2020, it was announced that Ormiston College Year 5 Teacher, Holly Photiou and Dean of Music, Jason Taggart, have been included in The Educator’s fifth annual Hot List.

Selected from an overwhelming number of nominations, the 75 educators featured in the Hot List are recognised as having made a significant contribution to the K -12 education space over the past 12 months, and for their outstanding work in delivering the highest-quality educational experiences possible to all students.

The Hot List 2020 acknowledges Mrs Photiou’s and Mr Taggart’s innovative teaching practices, and the way they interact with students and the wider Ormiston College community. This has been especially important during the past six months, as our teachers have continually adapted their initiatives to ensure that our students receive the best possible educational experience.

Recently, Mrs Photiou received an Innovation Grant, allowing her to acquire mixed-reality headsets, to improve the quality of students’ descriptive writing and understanding of a wide range of scientific and mathematic concepts using virtual reality. She also embedded cutting-edge practices into mainstream units. Students in her classroom are using Minecraft and coding platforms to bring 3D communities to life. Learners also collaborate online.

Mr Taggart has driven the growth of the music department, through such initiatives as Performances in the Plaza, which provides academic, music tuition, and co-curricular ensembles the opportunity to perform weekly as part of a lunch time concert series. His weekly lunchtime music extravaganzas have led to improvements in the academic music grades of performers, made a following from both music and non-music students, and boosted the morale of the College especially since returning to school after COVID-19.

To thrive in the uncertain and change-driven world of the future, students at Ormiston College are supported to develop new mindsets and skillsets that enable them to think critically, work collaboratively and through technology to create new knowledge and solve real-world problems.

“We extend our warmest congratulations and thanks to Holly and Jason on this achievement,” said Ormiston College Headmaster, Brett Webster. “At Ormiston College, we embrace cutting-edge technologies and new approaches in teaching and learning to support optimum student outcomes. Their inclusion in the list is well deserved and it is wonderful to see Ormiston College represented at this level again this year.”