Pre-Service Teacher Award
The Pre-Service Teacher Award is designed to recognise the significant contribution made by a Queensland pre-service teacher who has completed consistent and outstanding professional experience(s), as well as the promoting active and healthy lifestyles to the school or wider community.
Winner: Jacinta Cross, The University of Queensland
Jacinta has participated in a number of professional experiences across various contexts, including primary and secondary schools, state and independent schools, regional and metropolitan schools, and with students with disability. Her final professional experience was 12 weeks in duration and involved teaching in junior HPE and Science, senior PE, Year 8 Netball Academy, and Year 11 Cert III in Fitness. In the final professional experience report, Jacinta was rated as Exceeding Graduate Level in all but two relevant AITSL standards, which is a reflection of her high quality pre-service teaching. The quote below by her HPE supervisor at Cavendish Road State High School further demonstartes her contributions during her final professional experience.
Jacinta has also demonstrated service at different levels and in various capacities.
UQ Community: Throughout her degree, Jacinta has been an active member and leader in the UQ community. In 2021, she has been serving as a 4th year student representative for the Bachelor of Health, Sport, and Physical Education (BHSPE), liaising between her peers and the teaching staff to support effective communication and program improvements. Over her studies, Jacinta demonstrated strong commitment to student-staff partnership projects, serving as pedagogical advisor/consultant and co-designer in projects aiming to improve student experiences, curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment. As part of this work, Jacinta is currently co-authoring a paper for the International Journal for Students as Partners. Further, she has contributed to the BHSPE Connection project by: (1) organising and helping facilitate the 1st Year Orientation Day, (2) leading a panel with industry guest speakers at a Connection Event, and (3) contributing to the BHSPE Life Newsletter, which showcases BHSPE events and creates a sense of community in the program.
Broader community: Jacinta has contributed to the netball community for several years as a player, captain, coach and umpire, holding qualifications of level 1 coaching and umpiring. Across 2012–2015, she coached at Macgregor Netball Association with the
Net Set Go program (under 8s) and served as assistant coach of the Comets Netball Club 10-year-old team. From 2015–2017, she umpired fixtures at Underwood Netball Association. More recently, she has been involved in coaching the 12B team at Mansfield State High School. Further, in 2021, Jacinta has been volunteering for the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health Project with a focus on strengthening Deadly Choices initiatives within the Australian Curriculum. Finally, in 2020, she served as a student representative for ACHPER QLD, demonstrating her interest and willingness to contribute to active and healthy lifestyles in various capacities.
Jacinta's commitment to the promotion of active and healthy lifestyles through her teaching and other roles is also evident through her pursue of excellence in her academic endeavours. Her current GPA is 6.5 / 7 and she has thus far been awarded the Dean's Commendation for Academic Excellence three times during her degree (with her final semester currently in progress).
Additionally, Jacinta has taken advantage of multiple opportunities to support her development. For example, she has applied for and received the Aspiring Teachers Grant and the Beyond the Range Professional Experience Grant by the Queensland Department of Education, the latter of which supported a professional experience in a priority community. Further, she has pursued coaching professional development opportunities, such as the Community Coaching General Principles Course and a Level One Netball Coaching Certificate. Jacinta's commitment to becoming the best teacher she can be is further demonstrated through her work as a teacher aide for the Education Support Services unit at Cavendish Road State High School and for the HPE department at Mansfield State High School, both of which complement her official teacher training. The attached testimonial from the Head of Department of HPE at Mansfield State High School highlights her contributions to the school community and her promise as a future HPE teacher.