Community News

Celebrating our local heroes

Lynne Mowbray The theme for Education Week 2015 is Celebrating Local Heroes. Here in the Clarence Valley we have an abundance of local heroes past and present that have lived in the valley and attended our local schools. Schools within the valley may have students today, who will go on to become our local heroes of tomorrow, with some already showing the early signs of greatness, either academically or in the sporting arena and who will one day have their names added to our history books. Education has evolved over the years to now include an exciting array of programs and initiatives to give students more involvement in their education. One example of this is a leadership program which has been adopted by Maclean Public School and was an initiative of school Principal, Sandra Armstrong. Last year the Maclean Public School established their first parliament which provides opportunities for stage three students to make decisions that affect them in their school environment. Each student in year six is involved in the program to help generate positive change in the school through inspiration, innovation and negotiation. There are minister portfolios to cover every aspect of the school; Ministers for Education, Library, Healthy Living, Functions, Sport, Canteen, Gardens, Playgrounds and Maintenance, Information and Communication Technologies, Fundraising, Health and Safety, Indigenous Affairs and Ministers for the Arts. The program is designed to foster leadership skills – leading yourself and leading others. With each portfolio comes the responsibility of leadership. Parliament sits once a term to discuss issues within the school and the students form part of the decision making process within the school. Public speaking plays a large part, in the student’s ministerial role. The confidence gained through public speaking, shows, in the results of Maclean’s strong debating team, which has won every round in the inter-school debating competition this year. Year six student Luke Eckersley is one of the Ministers for Information Communication Technology and one of the debating team members. “I help tutor the younger students, teaching them 21st century learning skills including programming and learning the gaming with programs such as Mindcraft,” he said. Part of Luke’s portfolio is to assist in the set up of new computers and assisting the computer co-ordinator with the schools technology. With exciting programs such as these, no doubt we will see more and more students achieving greatness, in years to come. This year we celebrate our local heroes and acknowledge their achievements. Whether it’s in science, politics, sports, health or the arts, we touch on just a few of these people who have achieved greatness, as we celebrate our local heroes.