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Cairns High teacher wins a Noreen Wilcox award


Mr Peter Cocks with his Noreen Wilcox award

Following the celebrations of World Teachers Day a Cairns State High School teacher, Peter Cocks has the honour of being the recipient of the Noreen Wilcox Excellence in Education Award, Classroom Based Educator Classification.

The Australian College of Educators, Peninsula Group, established this award for Excellence in Education in 1993. The award has been modelled on the career of Noreen Wilcox.

Noreen Wilcox was a fellow of the Australian College of Education and her career in education spanned the years from 1956 until her death in 1991. During that time she served as Teacher, Administrator, University Lecturer, Inspector and Supervisor of Studies and was the first woman to hold such an office in many of these appointments. Her efforts to enhance the opportunities for students through the refinement of teaching practice were a constant focus of Ms Wilcox’s life. 

The award recognises the excellence of teachers in both the classroom and non-classroom based settings. The recipients are educators who are making significant contributions to excellence in education in The Peninsula Region of Far North Queensland. The selection criteria for a Noreen Wilcox award are the qualities she espoused.

Mr Peter Cocks was announced the winner of the Classroom Based Educator Classification of the Noreen Wilcox awards at the awards ceremony on Thursday 30 October.

Mr Cocks is a Mathematics Teacher at Cairns High as well as the eLearning Mentor and Art and Science of Teaching Teacher Coach. Mr Cocks commits to ensuring that he knows the student and caters for their learning styles. Mr Cocks also supports and mentors students who are studying online International Baccalaureate Diploma subjects and provides tutorials before and after school for students from other classes. He is an exemplary lifelong learner who strives for excellence and constantly refines his own practice. In addition, he has presented workshops to parents, the P&C, and the School Council on the programs he has been involved in.

Mrs Samantha Roestenburg, the Head of Special Education Services for the Centre for Diverse Learning at Cairns State High School was also nominated for the awards in the Non Classroom Based Educator Classification. Mrs Roestenburg is always diligent in maintaining her knowledge of current educational approaches when working with students with disabilities and is a strong school leader in implementing quality teaching and learning.  She is motivated by providing the best possible education for every student and most notably undertaken the task of upskilling new staff to special education.

“The school community is incredibly proud of both of these outstanding teachers and particularly congratulate Mr Peter Cocks for his award. Both teachers contribute immensely to Cairns High and are an asset to the school”, commented Mrs Angela Toppin Cairns High Principal.