Merrylands High teachers' leadership qualities recognised

Leading the way: Merrylands High School teachers Mario Radisic and Stefanie Lia were presented with ACEL leadership awards on July 25. Picture: Gene Ramirez

Leading the way: Merrylands High School teachers Mario Radisic and Stefanie Lia were presented with ACEL leadership awards on July 25. Picture: Gene Ramirez

Merrylands High School teachers are leading the way in transition programs and technology use.

Mario Radisic and Stefanie Lia are among seven teachers from the school who have been recognised by the Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL) in the past three years for exceptional leadership.

‘‘Leadership shared across the school community ensures that the voices of students and staff and parents are heard,’’ principal Lila Mularczyk said.

‘‘If you trust the staff you work with, which I absolutely do, then leadership capacity builds.’’

Mr Radisic, a PDHPE teacher and assistant principal, manages programs that help students transition smoothly to high school and through its different stages.

This includes three open days each year for year 6 pupils from 22 feeder primary schools — more than the Department of Education requires of NSW schools.

‘‘We elect our year seven year advisors two years before students come to the school,’’ Mr Radisic said.

‘‘Our future year advisors work with them so we have that continuity.

‘‘It gives the students an opportunity to connect with the teachers, the school, the surroundings and the expectations required.

Mr Radisic said the award was unexpected.

‘‘I always thought I was just doing my job so [the award] is pretty humbling,’’ he said.

The technology is not the driver, the learning is the driver. - Stefanie Lia

Ms Lia, an English teacher and year advisor, has shown others how to integrate technologies into classrooms since her first year teaching. Her presentation at a Boston education conference in July looked at old and new technologies to teach English and how neuroplasticity research should change the way students are taught.

‘‘For students, physical changes in the school environment and the way that the teacher approaches the student actually have impacts on the neural connections inside the brain, and therefore their capacity to learn,’’ she said.

‘‘The technology is not the driver, the learning is the driver.

‘‘It will depend on the nature of the class, the activity we are doing and the learning outcome that we want. In my classroom it ranges from using things like Edmodo, video and voice recordings, taking photographs, making movies.’’

If you trust the staff you work with . . . leadership capacity builds. - Lila Mularczyk, principal, Merrylands High

Ms Lia said she was shocked and honoured to receive the award.

‘‘It's not something I look for,’’  she said.

‘‘It’s a lovely honour that people in your school see those qualities in you. It’s really nice.’’

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