Praise for 'excellent' schools
THE sign on the wall in Darrin Edwards' office states the official goal of James Nash High School, "... to be a hub of educational excellence for all learners".
And yesterday, Mr Edwards proudly noted that the school had been recognised for achieving just that.
And, on the other side of town, so had One Mile State School.
"It's very cool, Gympie having two award-winning schools," Mr Edwards said yesterday.
And that sentiment was enthusiastically shared by One Mile State School principal Janelle Reid.
In both cases the awards were for the efforts of each school to encourage students to grasp with enthusiasm the challenges and rewards of growing up.
James Nash's key to recognition was its Pathways to Individual Excellence program, which aimed to identify high performing students in the Gympie area and prepare them for high school involvement from Year 5.
One Mile's winning program was an exercise in community service and the kind of networking that comes with genuine goodwill.
Mr Edwards and assistant principal Cheryl Greinke said the program aimed to smooth the transition from primary to high school and from high school to university.
"The excellence program is designed to give Gympie kids the same opportunities to learn, with no difficulty moving to high school in fields from science to the creative arts.
"We get the high school students to make presentations to the primary school kids.
"And there is no greater way to learn than to have to teach.
"We aim to encourage students to be really enthusiastic about learning, we try to excite them.
"We have a Saturday summer school that is so popular the students don't want it to end."
Ms Reid said the school had developed an excellent service partnership with Gympie Cooloola Rotary and had been running "Earlyact" meetings, which replicated Rotary meetings and their emphasis on service to others.
"We're involved in local projects in the community and it just keeps growing new legs," she said.
"Through our community links, we were able to prepare 160 care packages to send to Australian soldiers in Afghanistan.
"A lot of local businesses supplied items for the packages as well and through our partnership with Rotary, we contacted Enoggera Army Base
"Over the Christmas holidays we received emails from the soldiers to the kids, thanking them.
"And when we had Anzac Day at the school, some of those soldiers came up from Enoggera Communications Base. About 16 of them came up in four army trucks.
"It's all about sharing in the community and promoting ideals of social justice and community, and encouraging future leaders."
Percentage of high school students who achieved Year 12 certificate, vocational qualifications, school based apprentices and international diploma passes (column One) and tertiary offers (column Two).
- Cooloola Christian College 96% 89%
- Gympie State High 92% 95%
- St Patrick's College 94% 93%
- Victory College 95% 100%
- James Nash High 96% 91%