Teresa Carlson Excellence in Teaching Award
This award recognises an outstanding and sustained contribution made by a member of the health and physical education profession in the promotion of active and healthy lifestyles to the education community.
Winner: Catherine Sandurski, St Thomas More College
Occasionally you get a Health and Physical Education Teacher who manages to change the way students think about health and wellbeing. They put each dimension of health to practice each day and take every opportunity as either a teaching or learning moment. Catherine Sandurski is one of those teachers. Catherine (more affectionately known as Cath) is the Head of Health and Physical Education Department at St Thomas More College in Sunnybank. Sport and community has always been integral to the success of the College and Cath has been at the forefront of this change for the past 18 years.
Cath spends extensive hours working to improve student outcomes, engagement in studies, access to curriculum and teaching each child to be a lifelong active and healthy learner.
Complacency is never an option. She leads a team of talented and committed teachers who share her vision for making healthy change in young people by demonstrating habits that impact the wellbeing of others around her. Cath always makes time for students, parents and staff and has taken it upon herself to set up initiatives outside of her compulsory duties in the betterment of others such as a staff wellbeing committee. She also organises:
• More Fit (a staff and student afternoon of activities including yoga, boxing and circuit training to name a few),
• HPE Help (weekly student tutoring for all HPE related subjects) and
• HPE Week where the Year 10 cohort plan, organise and assess their own activities that strive to make a positive impact in the College community each year.
For Brisbane Catholic Education and Catholic Schooling, she was the lead teacher in the Expert Teacher Group for Health Education and the lead teacher for the Catholic Perspective on Relationships and Sexuality Education (SHAPE PAPER).
Cath is also heavily involved in extra-curricular sport which includes coaching, managing and team selections for school (SECA), district (Eastern Taipans), regional (Met West) and state (Queensland) cricket teams (male and female). Along with being the Secretary for 13-19 Queensland Schools Cricket team.
Her lasting legacy in the community will be her endless enthusiasm and ability to get the best out of people by creating a health inspired and wellbeing focused team of staff, students and families who have been guided by the principles of the dimensions of health. Unlike other candidates who excel in their achievements and shine, Cath illuminates’ others around her in all her humility and joviality and is a credit to the profession.
She is the teacher you wished you had, the leader you could never emulate and the colleague you’ll never repay.