College education role recognised

Residential manager Darryl McCart and some of the students from the college.
Camera IconResidential manager Darryl McCart and some of the students from the college. Credit: Countryman

A residential manager at the WA College of Agriculture in Cunderdin is among this year’s winners of the WA Education Awards 2016.

Darryl McCart, who won the WA School Services Staff Member of the Year award, said giving students a safe and friendly “home away from home” was a job he took very seriously.

As well as overseeing the daily essentials of more than 130 boarding students and managing 30 staff, Mr McCart makes sure he and his team have the caring skills to meet the emotional needs of the teenagers who live away from their families to attend the farming school.

“I’m mindful that parents have dropped off their children here from many miles away — and it’s up to me and my team to look after them and keep them safe during the term,” he said.

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“When I was in secondary school, I had a teacher, Jan Walker, who would sit down and listen to everything you had to say and then give the best advice she could.

“It’s not uncommon for students here to drop into my office during the day, have a bit of a chat to get things off their chest and then return to class.

“That trust and respect is so important. It’s so important to me that the students feel safe and happy at the residential facilities.

“This can have a direct impact on how well they achieve in class.”

Premier Colin Barnett said the principals, teachers, and school staff recognised in the WA Education Awards were inspirational.

“I am proud to acknowledge the best in WA’s public schools, and the excellent staff who make an extraordinary contribution to the lives of students,” Mr Barnett said.

“These exceptional school staff influence and shape young people to become confident, resilient and well-rounded individuals.”

A total of 11 winners were announced, with John Curtin College of the Arts awarded WA Secondary School of the Year and Mt Lawley Senior High School taking out the WA Premier’s Excellence in Aboriginal Education Award.

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