Out of thousands of nominations in 2014, 10 primary school teachers were rewarded with A Day Made Better for their exceptional work in the classroom.

One inspirational teacher was Danny Forrest from Donald Primary School. This is his story.

View 2013 Winners
Tim Brideoake

Everyone loves Mr Brideoake because he not only inspires small minds, he encourages his students to be better people!

Megan O'Loughland
Michael Loy

Mr Loy is an exceptional teacher because he engages all of his students in all that he teaches. Mr Loy is a young teacher with a lot of enthusiasm. Mr Loy interacts well with the students and teachers.

Scott Wilson
John Tattersall

JT has developed an excellent rapport with his students. Having taught students that had John as their teacher the previous year, my Year One students had developed a knowledge of sight words, school readiness skills and an interest in and enjoyment of literature. This is due to JT's knowledge of the accelerated literacy program and best practices in the early childhood years of education.

John also shows care for his student’s physical wellbeing through being consistent in his implementation of the ‘breath, blow cough’ program and daily hand, face, teeth brushing routines. For your dedication to working tirelessly in your teaching career with our most disadvantaged students in remote indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, I believe you deserve this recognition John Tattersall. 20 years of commitment to the children of the Australian outback should be rewarded.

Kandi Thorpe
Hayley Kellner

Hayley established a classroom environment early on in the year that had my son eager to go to school early every day. I have observed a vast improvement in my son's reading level. Since being in her classroom, he's improved from struggling to read to already being able to read at his grade level and we've only just started Term 2! It's very clear to see that she sees teaching as more than the '9-5' job and I wish there was more of her to go around!

Dana Nielsen
Chelsea Daian

Mrs Daian always takes special interest in all students. She always has the time to fix special needs, she uses good values to help us get better lives and good grades. I have been studying harder for her this year as I really want to please her.

Chantelle Crafter
Anne Vukic

Mrs Vukic has been an exceptional and highly regarded teacher in the Chigwell/Claremont area for the past twenty years. During this time Anne has used her exceptional teaching skills to enhance and improve the learning outcomes of all her students. Her practice is highly inclusive of all students including those with special and additional needs. As a testament to her dedicated and reflective practice Anne's program is fully supported by parents of children in her class and the whole school community.

Anne's compassion for all students in the school is tireless and her teaching day begins well before the 8:30 bell with consideration of how to engage and support students to maximise and make their learning more enjoyable and meaningful. Students enjoy meeting Anne at breakfast club where she volunteers from 8:00am onwards in the mornings. Teachers in the school are regularly released to visit Anne's class to watch her highly effective program so they can improve their own practice. She is a well sought after mentor within our school and the wider education community. I cannot think of a more inspiring and deserving teacher, mentor and educator to receive this award.

Jenny Leppard
Danny Forrest

Danny has developed several programs which have reinforced all learning and behaviour at school. Donald Blue Knights is a personal achievement system which acknowledges each individual to ‘have a red hot go’, ‘come to school ready to learn’, ‘don't be a sloth’, ‘good deeds come at a small price’ and ‘if you believe you can achieve’. He surprises the kids, dresses up as pandas, penguins, wears an afro wig and brightly coloured suits. He goes above and beyond to give his school the world, even investing his own money to help build a sports stadium.

He is king of community, as a coach and committee man of local sports clubs. He led the school to develop their own high class film festival, art show, and started a Human Powered Vehicle challenge among Victorian Primary Schools on the Donald Airfield. He is big, bold, and brilliant. My son and I cried when he finished school last year. We all wanted to stay. Every effort is beyond expectation. We were forever wowed. Every school needs a Danny Forrest!

Joanne Postlethwaite
Andrew White

I salute you for never giving up, always trying new ideas to get the students involved and always smiling. Thank you for making both my children's Prep years the best ever. I appreciate that you are so organised in getting the information out on time to all your parents. You are THE best teacher by FAR!!!

Ria Hatiingh
Shannon May

Shannon went over and above the 'call of duty' in trying to understand 'Sensory Processing Disorder' which is an issue that directly affects my son and many other children in today's classrooms. Many teachers do not appreciate how many children it affects and Shannon, along with the Deputy Principal went on a special course to better understand children with this disorder.

As a result she has put many strategies into place within her class that all students can benefit from. In my book, she is a great teacher who is committed to her class and students and understands the partnership necessary between parents and teachers when educating children.

Jo Morgan
Belinda Coulahan

Miss C is an amazing teacher, a wonderful caring person who cares not only for the staff and students but also the students’ families. The school has improved having her as the leader.

Kahli Aslette

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