Peter Botsman Award 2006
Helen Rivers has been a classroom teacher at Ipswich High School for the past twenty-six years. In that time, she has shown exemplary dedication to her students, to the school, to her colleagues and to the teaching of English.
Helen is an educator and teacher whose love of English continues to enrich the lives of countless students. Many of these students maintain contact with her long after their secondary education has been completed. Throughout her career, Helen has shown her commitment to educating students for life roles. She has sought to expand their horizons, to capitalise on their enthusiasm and to extend their creativity as much as possible. This dedication has involved organising numerous excursions, including many to both the theatre and the opera. These trips will remain a highlight for many students (and teachers) and Helen has never begrudged the time and frequent late nights after the extra trips to and from Ipswich that were required to ensure students’ safety.
As a teacher, Helen values professional development and is a most innovative practising teacher. If she has been to a conference and learned about a different approach then that is trialled in her classroom and shared with other teachers. She has played an integral and valued role in the development of the school’s Junior and Senior English programs. Helen has always displayed a strong commitment to Ipswich High students whose talents she strives to nurture and develop.
Helen’s professional expertise has enhanced the knowledge and skills of her colleagues. She was a member of the reference group for the development of the 1994 Junior English Syllabus in 1990/1; a key teacher for that syllabus; a Further Literacy In-service Project tutor; an English review panel member for the last 15 years; the Chair of the Literacy Committee at Ipswich High for the past two years and is currently leading the development of the school’s Literacy Program.
In addition to the above, Helen has provided long and dedicated service to the ETAQ Management Committee and is well remembered for the years she guided the In-service Committee and for her time as Vice- President.
Helen is a wonderful role model for all teachers and especially for English teachers.