Heather Schnagl, Principal at Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School has been awarded the Sir James Darling Medal, which recognises a Victorian educator who has made an outstanding contribution to Victorian education. Dr Schnagl has spent the past 40 years driving educational outcomes and helping young people learn and was stunned to receive the award.
“I’m in shock because I don’t think I’ve done anything exceptional,” Dr Schnagl said. “My career has been a blend of good fortune and hard work. I’ve put my hand up and taken on challenges which takes courage."
Dr Schnagl said that the profession has noticeably changed noticeably in the past four decades; teaching methods have evolved and the quality and professionalism of educators has improved, but respect for teachers and the profession has fallen.
“It’s disappointing some members of the community don’t value teachers and constantly look for someone else to blame. I believe everyone should take responsibility, including teachers, students and parents.
“I’m passionate about empowering and mentoring teachers so they reach their full potential and make learning fun and students want to come to school.”
Australian College of Educators CEO, Helen Jentz, said Dr Schnagl is an inspiration to other educators. “Her passion for education is infectious. It’s not just the students who benefit, rather her colleagues and the entire school community.
“As CEO of the Australian College of Educators, it’s a privilege to award Heather the Sir James Darling Medal, named in honour of the College’s founder.”
Dr Schnagl has previously been made a Member of the Order of Australia for her services to education as a school principal and also received the inaugural Excellence in Teaching and School Leadership Australia Award from the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership.
The Australian College of Educators (Victoria Branch) Excellence in Education Awards recognise educators and/or educational institutions who have made exceptional contributions to the sector.