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Keeping High-Performing Teachers in the Classroom

Highly Accomplished Teacher and Lead Teacher (HAT and LT) certification is keeping our high-performing teachers in classrooms across the Cairns Diocese. 

The nationally-recognised HAT and LT certification allows experienced teachers to advance their career, receive recognition for the impact of their practice and have a positive impact within their school community, all while remaining doing what they love: teaching. And the benefits are far-reaching.  

“The benefits reach parents and carers, and most importantly, students. It really acknowledges your commitment to teaching,” said Robyn Arri, who received Lead Teacher certification in 2021. 

The next generation of leaders in Catholic Education

According to Principal Lucas Felstead, the process encourages teachers to develop their leadership skills while progressing their career and positioning themselves as the next generation of leaders in Catholic Education.  

“Students benefit, and parents benefit because they have the highest of quality educators in the classroom. There are so many wins. It’s wonderful to see the steps of progression within the career and it’s wonderful to see the impact that has,” said Lucas. 

For Elisa Dingle, pursuing a career in teaching was an opportunity to make a difference and applying for Lead Teacher certification was an opportunity to demonstrate her role as a leader.  

“As a First Nations person, I really am passionate about helping our First Nations students become the best they can be and in my role I’m able to demonstrate that I am a leader and being a First Nations person, you can lead,” said Elisa. 

Five Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers in Cairns Diocese

With three additional teachers achieving certification in 2021, the Cairns Diocese is proud of its five Highly Accomplished Teacher and Lead Teachers, including Jessica Williams, the first secondary teacher to achieve accreditation in the Diocese. 

“To be the first secondary teacher in the Diocese is a great feeling. It’s exciting to know I can support and help other secondary teachers who are going to go through the process,” said Jessica.  

The Diocese’s other accredited teachers, all from Our Lady Help of Christians School, Earlville, say they were buoyed throughout the accreditation process by those who led the way before them and are now looking to pay that support forward to other teachers across the Diocese aiming for accreditation. 

Cairns Catholic Education HAT and LT certified teachers:

Jessica Williams, HAT-accredited 2021, St Mary’s Catholic College, Woree  

Elisa Dingle, LT-accredited 2021, Our Lady Help of Christians School, Earlville  

Robyn Arri, LT-accredited 2021, Our Lady Help of Christians School, Earlville  

Tammy Lacey, HAT-accredited 2020, Our Lady Help of Christians School, Earlville  

Madonna Archibald, HAT-accredited 2019, Our Lady Help of Christians School, Earlville 

Find out more about Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Certification