Council of Catholic School Parents Awards Pre-service Teacher Scholarship

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Saige Conners and Council of Catholic Schools Executive Director Peter Grace. Photo: Giovanni Portelli Photography

University of Notre Dame Primary Education student Saige Conners was awarded The Council of Catholic School Parents NSW/ACT Scholarship valued at $2,000 to put towards her degree.

The Council of Catholic School Parents NSW/ACT and the University of Notre Dame (UNDA) have awarded the third annual Pre-service Teacher Scholarship, an award which recognises the important relationship between parents and teachers to the learning welfare of students.

This year the scholarship was awarded to Saige Conners, who will be a third generation teacher, currently in her first year of a Bachelor of Primary Education at UNDA.

“It all starts with your parents; if they’re engaged in your education then you feel more motivated to do your best work at school and have someone to bounce off at home,” she says.

“I’ve always known primary school teaching was for me,” adds Saige. “I’m really inspired by my mum and grandma, who are teachers, and I had the most amazing Year One teacher at St Cecilia’s Catholic Primary School named Miss Williams, who was so inspiring and helped me be my best. I’d like to become even half the teacher she was to me.”

“I’m really inspired by my mum and grandma, who are teachers, and I had the most amazing Year One teacher at St Cecilia’s Catholic Primary School, Miss Williams”

– Saige Conners

Council of Catholic School Parents Executive Director Peter Grace said that the importance of the relationship between parents and teachers should not be underestimated.

“Parent-teacher relationships are incredibly important to the education and formation of children and young people,” said Mr. Grace.  “If parents and teachers work closely together and draw on each other’s expertise to make decisions in the best interests of the child, then that child’s learning outcomes and wellbeing are enhanced.

Saige Connors with her parents and grandmother, with University of Notre Dame Australia Director Ms Hilary Johnston-Croke (far left) and Council of Catholic Schools Executive Director Peter Grace (Right). Photo: Giovanni Portelli Photography

“As their children’s first educators, parents receive crucial support from teachers. Central to effective parent engagement is a strong parent-teacher relationship, characterised by trust and clear two-way communication.

“As their children’s first educators, parents receive crucial support from teachers. Central to effective parent engagement is a strong parent-teacher relationship, characterised by trust and clear two-way communication.”

– Peter Grace

“I congratulate Saige on the quality of the application that she submitted. Not only was it based on her school results, but also a community service component and a statement that demonstrated her understanding of the importance of the parent teacher relationship – and she passed with flying colours.”

Saige was awarded her scholarship at a morning tea held on campus at UNDA, with her parents and grandmother by her side. Also in attendance were Ms Hilary Johnston-Croke of the University’s Board of Directors, Notre Dame’s Deputy Vice Chancellor, Enterprise and Partnerships and Professor Christine Bennett.

As the peak body for parents and carers of children and young people in Catholic schools, the CCSP provides leadership, advocacy and support to the 150,000 families that choose a Catholic education for their child in New South Wales/ACT.

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