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Fostering school spirit – Nathan Zahra wins Docemus Award

22 Sep 2023 3 min read

Primary school teacher, Nathan Zahra, from St Andrew’s Catholic College in Cairns, has been awarded the 2023 Early Career Teacher Docemus Award. NGS is proud to sponsor this award and recognise the passion and dedication of teachers like Nathan.

Nathan was always a keen student of Maths and Science and was on the path to teach these subjects to secondary students. However, after volunteering at his local primary school, he loved it so much that he changed his plans.

Now a year six teacher at St Andrew’s Catholic College, Nathan is thriving and has created a supportive, fun and inclusive environment for students.

Finding School spirit

In his first year of teaching, it was clear that Nathan was passionate about creating opportunities for his students outside of the classroom. Through a range of activities, Nathan has promoted inclusivity and help students build positive self-esteem St Andrew’s Catholic College.

‘I truly believe that fostering the uniqueness of each individual is essential in education. It’s about creating a sense of community and helping students to feel proud of themselves and one another,’ said Nathan.

In addition to teaching year six, Nathan was appointed Colour House Coordinator. In this role, he designed and organised Colour House Assemblies, as well as pastoral activities like National Walk to School Day, Athletics Carnivals, Winter Sort Out Nights, and worked with the College Senior Leadership team to plan the school’s Feast Day and an annual dance competition (known as Idol In Da House).

Going above and beyond

Nathan has been recognised for the extent of his work and the positive impact he has had on the wider school community. On top of the many projects and events he has organised, Nathan recently led the newly developed camp for year 6. He is also working with the Extension and Enrichment department to implement the school’s Mathematics Extension program.

‘I’ve always been an energetic teacher. The classes I’ve taught over the past three years have been amazing. I think the kids enjoy my teaching style as I try to get the most out of every learning opportunity.’

Next steps for Nathan

Nathan will continue teaching and plans to use the Docemus Award grant to complete further study in different aspects of education. He also plans to explore leadership opportunities through professional development in the areas of behaviour, curriculum, and well-being.

Nathan’s future plans include maintaining his passion and excitement for teaching primary school students and he hope to one day return to his original plan of becoming a secondary maths and science teacher.

Congratulations, Nathan, on this terrific achievement and for the positive impact he is having on the lives of young people and the wider school community at St Andrew’s Catholic College.

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