Inspirational teacher takes centre stage

LOCAL primary school teacher Ana Prior received the surprise of her life when she was named one of 10 inspirational winners across Australia in the 2017 A Day Made Better Teaching Awards.

Now in its seventh year, the national program recognises exceptional teachers that go above and beyond the call of duty to inspire, nurture and encourage students to build knowledge, confidence and life skills.

A passionate teacher for nearly 11-years, Ms Prior has been teaching at New Town Primary School for the past five years and is currently teaching year five and six students.

Past and present students, parents, family, friends, colleagues, school administrators and the principal nominated her for positively influencing the lives of her students, both in the classroom and beyond.

Parent Julie Tatlow said Ms Prior was a “great teacher” who went “above and beyond” to support her students.

“She looks for unique ways to teach students who may not learn in the conventional way and is always in contact with parents to let you know if something needs working on or if there’s something they’re doing well,” she said.

“As a parent, you couldn’t ask for a better teacher.”

Ms Prior was surprised with her achievement at a special award ceremony held at New Town Primary School in October.

Ms Prior said she was “honoured and lucky” to be nominated for the award.

“Winning was a lovely surprise – the award ceremony was very unexpected and I think I went into shock,” she said.

“I would like to thank OfficeMax for going to all the effort and for the sensational prize, it was very much appreciated.”

With her mother and brother both teachers, Ms Prior said teaching ran in the family.

She said she “absolutely loved” her job.

“Every day is different and I really enjoy being in the classroom with our amazing young people,” she said.

“I find the students I teach constantly inspire me, as well as the fantastic staff I teach with.

“There are teachers all around Tasmania and Australia who are doing amazing things in their classrooms and going above and beyond to encourage children to be the best they can be.

“I feel so touched and grateful that the parents of children I teach have taken the time to write and vote in the competition – it is such an honour to be the recipient.

“And, from a professional perspective, it is always appreciated by teachers to achieve recognition for all the work they do.”

OfficeMax sales and marketing director Paul Munkley said the company was committed to supporting the education industry.

“We understand the importance of recognising the hard work and commitment teachers bring to the classroom, which is why we created the A Day Made Better Teaching Awards,” he said.

“Once again, we were overwhelmed by the number of heart-warming nominations, particularly Ana.

“It was a privilege to be a part of something so inspiring and to see what a difference Ana is making in her local community.”

Ms Prior received a host of prizes worth more than $5000 for her school, including office products and an Apple iPad for her classroom.

For more information about the A Day Made Better program, visit www.adaymadebetter.com.au.

Caption: New Town Primary School teacher Ana Prior was surprised with the title of “inspirational teacher” as part of the national A Day Made Better Teaching Awards.