New chief executive for NSW Institute of Teachers

3 March 2013

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli today announced that after a merit selection process a new Chief Executive of the NSW Institute of Teachers had been appointed.

"I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Kate O'Donnell to this important position providing leadership to the NSW teaching profession.  Kate will take up the position at the beginning of April," Mr Piccoli said.

"The NSW Institute of Teachers is currently undertaking critical work at both the state and national level to implement new national teaching standards across all schools. I feel very fortunate that Ms O'Donnell will be leading the Institute at this important time."

Ms O'Donnell, began her career as an English teacher in Western Australia, and has taught mathematics and drama at both government and non-government schools in NSW, including working as a secondary school mathematics co-ordinator. 

Ms O'Donnell has taught in the initial teacher education sector for the University of Sydney, and has been the NSW Department of Education representative on the national advisory group for national and international student testing.

Ms O'Donnell worked at a senior level within the NSW Department of Education as part of the highly respected educational measurement (EMSAD) team.

She undertook work to further improve the internationally recognised SMART data program, that is now used in schools across NSW and the ACT to help teachers and principals better analyse student assessment data.

Most recently Ms O'Donnell was appointed as Senior Partner, America Achieves, based in New York City.  America Achieves is a non-government organisation dedicated to improving the quality of teachers, school, district and state leadership by fostering better professional learning, policy and collaboration.

"I know that with her extensive experience at both the national and international level that she is the right person to lead the NSW Institute of Teachers through the coming years, particularly as we move towards implementing the new national teaching standards," Mr Piccoli said.

Ms O'Donnell will take over from the outgoing Chief Executive Patrick Lee at the beginning of next month.

"Mr Lee has had a long and distinguished career as a teacher, union leader, and advisor to a number of Education Ministers. I have truly valued his frank advice, wise counsel and sense of humour," Mr Piccoli said.

"His work both leading the NSW Institute of Teachers and as a board member of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) has helped to improve the quality of the teaching profession and I have no doubt improved the classroom teaching practice for NSW students.

"I would like to thank Mr Lee for his commitment to education and wish him every success into the future," Mr Piccoli said.

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