Murrumbidgee Regional High School

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Mr. Preston Awarded for Excellence in Teaching

Ian Preston and Student

Last week, Murrumbidgee Regional High School received two honours at the 2021 Minister’s and Secretary’s Awards for Excellence, both recognising the hard work of our very own Mr Ian Preston.

Mr Preston received the Minister’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. The Australia New Zealand STEM Education Alliance (ANZSEA) that he has been instrumental in setting up received the Secretary’s Award for Outstanding School Initiative.

Ian Preston, Deputy Principal of the Murrumbidgee Academy of STEM Excellence, will this year mark 30 years in teaching. A local boy from Yanco, Ian completed his Bachelor of Education Industrial Arts with Honours in 1990.

Ian then shipped out to teach at Ungarie Central School in 1991, where he taught woodwork, metalwork and technical drawing. He also took on teaching computing studies because, at the time, he was the only member on staff with a personal computer. His technical expertise proved a massive boon for the area. Ian's work with the Lachlan Access Program (LAP) enabled students in the region to study senior-level subjects via teleconference.

Ian started teaching in Griffith in 2000, and he has since utilised his experience with LAP to bring fantastic opportunities in STEM to the region. Ian’s work with the Murrumbidgee Academy of STEM Excellence (MASE) has not only connected our school with the latest in STEM education from around the world, it has also connected MRHS partner primary schools with a curriculum that enables students to pursue a cohesive and coherent path to high school level STEM subjects.

The award-winning ANZSEA is a mammoth affair. Through hard work and determination, Ian managed to network the NSW Virtual STEM Academy with their Queensland, Northern Territory and New Zealand counterparts, providing students across the Tasman with amazing STEM opportunities from leaders in the field.

MRHS Executive Principal David Crelley said that MRHS is 'exceptionally fortunate' to have a teacher who champions STEM the way Mr Preston does.

"Ian has demonstrated a passion for STEM-related learning for a number of years, gradually building his skill and knowledge to position him as a leading teacher in this field across the state," Mr Crelley said.

"He has provided significant opportunities for the students in our school and our partner primary schools to learn, explore, create and compete in this emerging field.”

Congratulations on your well-deserved recognition, Mr Preston.