Peter Botsman Award 2012
John Acutt began teaching English in 1985, teaching in Longreach, Blackall, Ipswich and Rosewood. He was Head of Department: English at Rosewood State High School from 1996 until 2002, when he took up his current position as Head of Department: English at Ipswich Grammar School.
As Head of Department, John is highly respected by past and present colleagues as a mentor who provides excellent support for beginning English teachers. He encourages a culture of collaboration and sharing resources within the department, as well as developing engaging and well-resourced units that allow for effective learning and work of intellectual quality from students. John supports innovation and creative contributions to excellent English teaching and learning from his team and provides multiple opportunities for professional development and renewal.
As part of his continuing professional capacity building, John completed his master’s degree in 2010, with a research project entitled Improving literacy outcomes for boys: Teachers' reflections on personal practices. He shares his wealth of experience and expertise at state and national conferences, including presenting a workshop on quest narratives at the 2008 AATE/ALEA conference, and another workshop on transitions at the 2012 AATE conference. John has also published articles in academic and practitioner journals.
In his spare time, John also writes scripts for plays and musicals, including the 2007 Ipswich Grammar musical, Hardboiled. He is currently working on the script for the 150th Anniversary musical in 2013 called The Russian Lieutenant.
His ongoing outstanding contributions to promoting excellence in English teaching, both within his school and the broader English teaching professional community, makes John a worthy recipient of the Peter Botsman Memorial Award.