Inspiring teacher honoured

14 November 2011

The inspirational work of a high school maths teacher in sharing his love of numbers with some of the state's most disadvantaged children has been honoured.

Sarah Redfern High School head mathematics teacher Ross Dummett recently received the NSW Pride of Australia Medal for Inspiration.

The award recognises a member of the teaching profession in primary or secondary school, State or independent education community or a role model whose compassion and wisdom while teaching, coaching and mentoring youth has been truly inspiring.

Improving numeracy

Mr Dummett's award reflected his work in improving numeracy among students within the Minto Community of Schools through the creation of games, maths competitions and quizzes.

During lunch times each week, he hosts 30 children in a game show-style maths quiz, while three mornings a week he coaches students in the Maths Breakfast Club.

Mr Dummett is also a co-founder of the Aboriginal Numeracy Competition and also organises the Endicott Cup, a four-term academic competition for Year 5 and Year 6 students.

He said it was "an amazing honour" to receive the award which was presented during a ceremony at Government House last month. Nine other winners were also recognised at the event for their community work, bravery and courage.

"To be able to share the moment with the other amazing men and women from all parts of our great state, was a privilege and opportunity I will never forget," he said.

The 33-year-old has been teaching at Sarah Redfern High School for the past seven years and it was his first full-time teaching position.

United and passionate

Mr Dummett said he "loved teaching in the area" and appreciated the opportunity to work with other amazing and like-minded teachers who were dedicated to improving the educational outcomes of all students within the Minto Community of Schools.

In particular, he paid tribute to the teaching staff at Sarah Redfern High School and the school's Aboriginal Education Officer Alana Rossman who were "very united and passionate" about their jobs and said the award was a reflection of their dedication to improving student outcomes.

He said through the various maths competitions and programs students were asking to practice and train for upcoming events, which was the reason why their marks and performance during competition was improving.

 He said the highlight of his teaching remained those "lightbulb moments" when students finally understood a mathematics concept.

However he downplayed his impact on students' lives and futures, preferring to suggest that it was a community that raised a child and teachers played a part in that journey.

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