The Northern Rivers is home to many inspirational and dedicated teachers.
The Northern Rivers is home to many inspirational and dedicated teachers. damircudic

69 inspirational teachers on the Northern Rivers

THE Northern Rivers is lucky enough to have many wonderful and inspiring teachers across the region's schools.

When we asked our readers to nominate the Northern Rivers most inspirational teacher we were inundated with responses, so we decided to compile a list of the nominations, along with heart-warming reason's why they were chosen.

  • Janet O'Shannessy, Eltham public school

- Janet has worked at numerous primary schools in the area and left a mark at every single one, she is the most dedicated and caring teacher/principal.

Janet is constantly working and constructing things for her school and the students, she does not stop working, whether it be 3am, school holidays or the weekend, and not because she has to, but because she enjoys her job and what she does. She has gone to the effort of getting the entire school repainted and brightened it up, she has been a huge impact on many children both graduated or just starting school.

Janet will always have time for her students no matter the circumstances. She is always finding new ways for the kids to learn and make it enjoyable for them.

I have honestly never met a more beautiful and caring woman so dedicated to her job ever in my life and I truly believe she deserves this recognition.

- My son has some difficulties expressing who he is, and Mrs O worked beautifully with him both as his teacher but also as an amazing human. He wasn't the only child struggling and she managed to make time for all of them while still letting them know individually that they were important and loved. The world needs more Mrs Os.

  • Nicky Hughes - Rosebank Public School

- Nicky's passion for her students goes beyond the classroom. You will often catch Nicky up late at night working on new and creative ways to engage her students or up at the crack of dawn baking for parent teacher days, community events and school initiatives. Staying with students from kindy through until they leave for high school, Nicky knows her students well and adapts to their individual learning needs. Nicky is adored by her students, colleagues and parents.

Her dedication is second to none.

- An inspiration really, not much more I can say. This woman helped me through my final placement of my primary teaching degree and I cannot thank her enough. She is well respected at RBPS and the school would not be the same without her. Nicky aspires to help all students in her class and in the school with whatever they may be doing. Daily, she checks in on all students with how they are feeling and is soon to realise if someone is a little off. She always seems to have a solution for everything, even if it is through her kind words and problem solving skills. She has her morning literacy routine down pat and although it seems very chaotic to a pre-service teacher who has to try and run it, it is very organised chaos. Nicky has an in-depth knowledge of the curriculum and seems to be able to make all activities interesting and hands-on, which is exactly what all students need. I have been to a fair few schools and I must say, I have never met a more down to earth, dedicated, passionate and enthusiastic teacher who ignites her love for learning, passing it onto the students that she teaches.

100 per cent hands down such a great teacher and she deserves the recognition for it.

  • Mr Nee, Coraki Public School

Mr Nee, who took the refugee ration challenge and talked our children through his experience, teaching them empathy and sharing his celebration by cooking healthy and delicious treats with them. He has an amazing skills uncomplicating his maths lessons and understands sometimes restless minds learn better in the fresh air or after a quick ball game. He has inspired my Mr 8 to be independent in the kitchen and to want to learn more about food and culture.

  • Mrs Malakaer , Coraki Public School

Mrs Malakaer, who never finds it hard to praise all children in her care, has taught three of my children two with additional needs. Comes to work with a smile on her face and is teaching them to never give up no matter what life brings. Her recent successes include taking a very diverse group excursion to Canberra travelling by bus and train and teaching consent with affection by adopting the recently seen greetings with a hug, fistbump and handshake.

  • Mr Butler , Coraki Public School

Mr Butler who taught my oldest son who has an autism spectrum disorder and ADHD during his final primary year. My son learned to laugh at himself and at bullies. Mr Butler prepared him to shine at high school, be true to himself, believe in himself and how to survive. To have a go at things you think you are no good at and never give up. These three teachers have supported my children and myself through a very tough few years and have encouraged, offered support often way beyond their job description.

  • Dave Hutchins, Alstonville Public School

- Dave is the Opportunity Class teacher at Alstonville. His ability to inspire his students to become independent learners who can work collaboratively is absolutely commendable. He encourages his students to be deep thinkers, critical, reflective, empathetic and creative. He is approachable, fun, engaging and real. He is open and honest with his students and has the ability to bring the best out in them as individuals. He is professional and personable with excellent interpersonal skills.

Dave recently took six students to Sydney to compete in the week long NSW Department of Education Game Changer Challenge which they won. Last Sunday he took two teams of students to the Tournament of Minds regional trial which they placed first and second. On Monday he ran a Write a Book in a Day competition at the school raising money toward children with cancer.

And that's just the last two weeks' highlights! To top it off he's an all round nice guy and the kids just love him!

- Dave has only been at the school for the last two years but already he has influenced positive changes in a collaborative approach to learning and through leading by example. To top it off he's an all round nice guy and the kids just love him. We are so lucky to have him.

  • Mr Paul, St Mary's Catholic College Casino.

Gets along and builds relationships with the kids. Never had a better relationship with a teacher in high school. Apparently used to go alright with a footy in hand. Dead set legend. On ya Maaaacccaaa.

  • Donna Atlee, St Carthage's.

My son has neurological conditions and she has been nothing but supportive with him and the way she adapts her teaching style for him. Donna's communication with parents is out of this world as well.

Donna makes learning fun for my boy and under her guidance, I have seen a tremendous improvement in not only his learning but his passion about school. He looks forward to going to school everyday to see what they'll be doing next.

If every teacher had a little of Donna's passion the world would be a great place.

  • Kara Parrish - Lismore Heights Public School

She is such a patient, kind hearted and understanding role model for my little boy. She makes learning so much fun for him, she understands he's not a difficult kid just struggling with difficult behaviours. My 6yo is the most sensitive, bright and caring little boy and it's good to know someone is making his school experience one he can enjoy and get the most out it. She always has the time to hear our concerns and help up find ways to manage them. We'd be lost without her.

  • Ruben Garcia, St Johns College Woodlawn

Mr Garcia inspires his students and makes learning a joy.

  • Jess Webber, Summerland Christian College

- Ms Webber's caring nature and passion to help those kids who may need that little bit more of a hand, is nothing but inspiring and being a mother of one of those kids in her class, it's a relief to know my child will be helped in anything she may need.

- She is so caring and nurturing and always goes the extra mile, nothing is too much for her. My daughter loves her and wants to be like her when she grows up.

  • Stacey Coughlin, Summerland Christian College

Well done Ms Coughlin.

  • Becky Alveraz, Summerland Christian College

- The most loving, caring teacher I've met. Both my kids have had her and love her. Such an amazing lady,

  • Carol Shipard

Well done Ms Shipard.

  • Amy Rodda, Our Lady Help Of Christians, South Lismore

- Could not ask for a more fabulous kindergarten teacher.

- She is so kind, compassionate and considerate of all children with all learning styles and helps them overcome any obstacles that may come their way.

  • Ms Shippy, Casino Public School

Ms Shippy....as the kids call her. The children she has taught and gave a passion to be anything they want to be, would be able to tell you why she should be recognised as one absolute amazing teacher.

  • Wendy Dardengo and Tina Shae, St Carthage's

I wish my boy could have them both all the way through primary school. They are both so caring and compassionate, they value each and every student, make them feel welcomed and nurtured. Nothing is too big to ask. My son loved every minute of being in their class for year 1.

  • Deanna Spackman, Corndale Primary School.

Well done Ms Spackman.

  • Mrs Wheatland

- Mrs Wheatland has been absolutely amazing, she has mentored both my daughter and son for the past 4-5 years in debating plus a number of other things. We can not thank her enough for all the extra she puts in and for all the love and guidance she provides for the kids. My daughter is in year 8 now but still goes to 8am debating each week with Kim. She's a star.

- Has had a huge impact in my children's lives thus far. She has taught my daughter for two years before heading her to high school. She was instrumental in encouragement and dedication to helping her grow both educationally and socially. She had a very strong dedication to all her sporting endeavours and they would often be away from class at the same time for athletics representative carnivals. My daughter absolutely loved having her for year 5 and we felt so privileged to have her again for year 6. My daughter grew so much in her class and I believe without that she could have easily taken a different path. Mrs Wheatland paved the way for so many innovative and creative learning experiences and the kids love her.

  • Rachael Muller, Goonellabah Public

- Rachael Muller was Southern Cross University young alumnus for work she did in the Northern Territory with indigenous children (for which she won NT Teacher of the year).

- Rachael Muller is the most caring, passionate teacher, who nurtures the children like they are her own. I was fortunate enough to have her teach my boy when he was in year 1 .

  • Rachael Muller, Goonellabah Public
  • Jess Brewer-Charles, Tregeagle public school
  • Nardene Braddon, Tregeagle public school
  • Kirsty Spence, Tregeagle public school
  • Kurt Bock, Tregeagle public school &
  • Adam Lenehan, Tregeagle public school

All of these teachers have and still do go above and beyond. There teaching skills with the children are the best that I have had teaching my children. When all six worked at Tregeagle public school together the way in which they worked together, took real time to get to know the children and their personality was so unique. I can't thank them enough for how they have nurtured and still nurture my children while they are at school .

  • Jessica Salmon, Goonellabah Public

Amazing teacher.

  • Maria Bramley-O'Connor, Alstonville High School

For doing an awesome job with our local teenagers Alstonville High School.

  • Byanca Scherf Formaggin, St Marys Primary Casino

- By far the best I know! My son came so far with her as his teacher, and have no doubt that he would have been left behind if it weren't for her.

- Byanca Scherf Formaggin is my all time favourite teacher. She goes above and beyond for every student

  • Ben Wilton, Albert Park Public School

Absolute teaching genius.

  • Annette Law, Alstonville Public School

My daughter's kindy teacher at Alstonville Public School. She has so much care for the kids and takes everyone individual needs on. Most amazing teacher ever.

  • Tony Ellem, Summerland Christian College

Well done Tony.

  • Helen Rae
  • Gail Allen &
  • Lisa McInerney, Wilson Park

Absolutely brilliant .

  • Sharon Bain, Casino Public School

Has been amazing with all my children and I'm sure many others will agree

  • Mrs Coleman

Mrs Coleman has played such a huge role in making my youngest son's early primary school years positive. He started school ok but was very shy and not very confident and when he started opening up found himself in a spot of trouble. In Year 1 we wanted nothing more than to see him happy and to have successful moments with his peers in the classroom. From the start of Year 1 he loved his class and really developed into a great learner under her guidance. He thrived so much and his behaviour improved immensely. His confidence grew and he had so many happy and beautiful moments. To date it is the best year he has had and now turning 8 this year I believe it helped get him on track and to help him build better relationships. She always had time to speak to me and had so much focus to help improve his literacy. Just recently she attended a sports carnival and attended to all the kids to make sure they were all at the right events and at the right time. She came and checked to see how kids were going in their events and put those kids first over everything. At no time did we even see her eating lunch or having a coffee - she was amazing and the kids love her. I even tried to buy her some lunch, but she was far too busy - that shows her dedication right there

  • Linda Langford and Ann Weaver, Summerland Christian College

Both go beyond to connect.

  • Tony Ellem, Summerland Christian School

Never have a met a person more passionate in their job. He is an amazing teacher and all my kids talk about him often even though he isn't their class teacher. They trust him. Need I say more.

  • Allison Parkinson, Blue Hills College

Well done Ms Parkinson.

  • Jo Spring, Emmanuel College

100 per the most outstanding caring teacher who goes above and beyond helping kids. First hand experience.

  • O Parker - Our lady help of Christians in South Lismore

She is the teacher to my 6yo twins in kindy and is just wonderful.

  • Connie D'Anna Learning Support Team Leader

From Evans River K12 school is a consummate professional with a passion for young people that's has her being innovative and very committed to the advancement of all young people with the school. She has worked tirelessly for her entire career with a dedicated team of staff to bring out the best in students in the Mid Richmond for over 20 years and is truly a legend in the education system.

  • Miss Deb Crealy and Mr Holmes, Goonellabah Public school.

Both have taught my oldest son and have gone above & beyond to help him. They've supported him with his needs and have organised the help he needs to better his education.

  • Tiffany Chilcott, Richmond Christian College.

My daughter started kindy this year with no reading or writing skills, and with Miss Chilcotts teaching, she has advanced so far. Not only that, Miss C comes to the children's birthday parties, and spends her holidays decorating the class room for the children. Last term they were a fish bowl. This term they are a jungle safari. I've never met a teacher so dedicated to her class and it definitely shows. The kids adore her.

  • Charmaine Winter, Summerland Christian School.

Could not ask for a better teacher for my 9 year-old. Her loving and caring nature spreads throughout her classroom and my little girl absolutely adores her.

  • Amy James, Wollongbar Public School

Well done Ms James.

  • Mrs Wheatland, Alstonville Public

Has taught my son for three years, not consecutively though. She also taught my eldest daughter now in Year 7. On both occasions but especially for my son she enables a fantastic learning environment and has a beautiful way of nurturing them to be their best. Both children are completely different in abilities but she always made them feel valued and appreciated. With my son in particular she has managed to nurture such a large cohort of boys that not only do they respect her but as my son says " she is my favourite teacher and I can't wait to be old enough to be in the school soccer team and she gets to be my coach". She runs a very structured and disciplined classroom but makes lots of room to be approachable and loved. Thank you Mrs E for being marvellous and F hopes to have you at least one more time before year 6.

  • Melissa Maslen

Incredibly dedicated.

  • Lisa Transton, St Marys Primary, Casino

My austistic sons Year 3 teacher from St Marys Primary, Casino she shows such support and interest in him and takes time to work around his learning and really lets him express his true self.

  • Haylee McCarthy, St Marys Primary, Casino

My ADHD son's kindy teacher from she has been such a kind patient and understanding lady who always has time to help me with any concerns or questions I ask, I was very apprehensive sending him to school but with her help he is becoming such a bright confident smart boy.

  • Fiona Sunnyvale, Casino Public

Well done Fiona.

  • Chris Sifko, Urbenville Public School

That man is amazing and goes above and beyond anyone I've ever met.

  • Shaun Piccoli, Casino Public School

Well done Shaun.

  • Janet Anne, Coonamble High School

Well done Janet.

  • Alan Duroux, Blakebrook PS

The best teacher and principal ever.

  • Ms Tunsted, Bilambil Primary School

Not only is she a fair teacher but she is so loving that when a student was unwell she organised the class to send her pictures of themselves with funny faces then went to the hospital and spent nearly two hours lifting her spirits. I am proud that my daughter has her not only is she a loving but firm teacher my daughter has grown to be a better person, friend and student of Bilambil Primary School.

  • Carrolyn Whittle, Lismore Public School

She has gone above and beyond for my daughter (and others) in many ways speaking most recently of her care and attention of my daughters heavy changes to her medical needs.

Mrs Whittle is always about the school making sure things run smoothly and also making sure every student has the best care to learn at their best.

  • Deanna Spackman, Corndale Public School

She shows so much love , patients and enthusiasm for all her students and her students absolutely love her back. She never leaves any of her students behind and encourages each and every student to reach their full potential. She's amazing and every single one of Corndale's family's would agree.

  • Miss Devina, Lismore Public School

She helped my two boys.

  • Jessica Groves, Southern Cross Public School

She goes above and beyond with her kind approachable and caring nature, not only that she spends countless hours running the school dance group on her own taking the kids all over the country side to perform.

She also coordinating the entire school end of year spectacular it doesn't matter your skill she includes every single person .. taking time to make a routine for every single class to perform on the night .

Mrs Groves also had my son on her first year starting at the school when she was in Year 1 (now in Year 5) she cares so much for him when he was having a hard time actually crying with him, they both got through the year with her loving personally and shared a special sense of humour that he usually only he laughed at and understood .

I could not think of a more deserving teacher to be recognised in the community.

My son still talks about his year spent with her .

She was born to teach kids. What a difference school is when taught by people that actually love their job and want to be there .. the passion of learning is spread through the school by Mrs Groves with her presence.

  • Abbie Beecher, St Francis Xavier Ballina

I cannot commend Abbie enough for what she had done for my daughter this year. With ADHD school struggles she goes above and beyond for my daughter and has genuine care and enthusiasm.

She has helped my daughter with everything from writing to dealing with bullies. For a girl who started not liking going to school to now enjoying it and being excited to see her teacher everyday says it all. Over three terms I have seen my daughter progress leaps and bounds all due to such a fabulous teacher.

Thank you Miss Beecher. We are your number 1 fans.

  • Renee Golding, Wyrallah Road PS

She is an inspiration to her students and is highly driven in her teaching style. You can just tell by talking to her how much she loves her job and how seriously she takes her role of teaching the next generation.

My daughter had her as a teacher in a previous school and my daughter would come home everyday excited about all the things she had learnt. Not only does she make her classrooms an exciting environment (a lot of the resources she purchases herself), she inspires the kids to embark on a journey of continuous improvement and motivates them to take responsibility for their own learning journey.

She's pure gold.

  • Annette Law, Alstonville Public School

She is my daughter's kindy teacher and put in sooo much effort with all the kids. My daughter listens to everything she tells her and let us know each and every afternoon to what she has learnt that day. Best teacher.

  • Kylie Organ, Lismore South Public School

She is always going above and beyond for her students and colleagues.

She is both loving and caring. She is always working on ways to improve Lismore South PS to help our younger generation strive for success.

  • Leonie Bebb, Lismore South Public School

Ms Bebb is a teacher's aid. If not for her love support and guidance my foster son, who has a mild disability due to a brain injury, he would not be able to function in main stream. She is his rock in good and bad days, guidance councillor and most of all a caring loving person who is just there for hugs when needed.

  • Lois Skorjenko, Blakebrook Primary School

Lois is always the teacher that goes above and beyond to make sure the students have every opportunity made available for them. As a working parent she offered to help taxi kids so they could make sport events, cooking classes, leadership courses or any other opportunity that the children could obtain. She always make the children feel important and included. She always teaches with a smile. My children are now in high school but she maintains the same level of teaching for many of my customer's children that come through my store.

Make Lois Skorjenko teacher of the year.

  • Kelsey Lauren, Alstonville High School

Kelsey is an amazing teacher.