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Six out of six for graduate teachers

Six students who last month became the first to graduate from the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education at the University of the Sunshine Coast are all now working as teachers across the state.

USC Lecturer in Early Childhood Education Anne Tietzel said the graduates were already prospering in their dream careers at public and independent schools and kindergartens from Narangba to Blackall.

“These mature-aged students used previous qualifications to gain course credits, allowing their earlier completion of the four-year USC degree introduced in 2011,” Tietzel said.

“Their prior experience was great because they helped lead a lot of learning. As academic staff, we built on that to promote creative and critical thinking. All six graduates were high achievers, with final grade point averages above 6.4 (out of 7).”

Holly Jarden, who received a Faculty Medal (GPA between 6.6 and 6.8), now teaches Year 1 at Stella Maris Catholic Primary School at Maroochydore. The Mooloolaba 29-year-old said she appreciated the inspiring teaching at USC.

“I continue to receive support from my lecturers now and have had opportunities to give back to the University by sharing my experience as a graduate teacher with the fourth-year Education students,” said Jarden.

Christine “Irish” Williams, 45, of Beerwah is now employed as a teacher at C&K Jinibara Community Kindergarten at Narangba.

“I had worked for C&K as an assistant/special needs assistant for 14 years and wanted to fulfil my dream of becoming a teacher,” Williams said. “I am living the dream. I can implement my early childhood philosophy into practice and assist young children to learn through play.”

Elisha Tregaskis, 29, of Coolum Beach, is teaching Prep at Kuluin State School.

“I started teaching at Kuluin on the first day of school this year in a learning support position. On Day 8 of the term the school offered me the position of Prep Teacher of the new class. I was stoked – a dream come true,” she said.

Margaret “Maggy” Sihlberg, 40, has moved from Bli Bli to Emerald to work as Pre-prep teacher/director at St Brigid’s Catholic Pre-prep Centre.

“It was an honour to receive my job last July while studying at USC,” she said.

Kristy Barbour, 33, moved from Buddina to Hervey Bay this year as a Year 2 teacher at Fraser Coast Anglican College.

“The USC degree helped broaden my knowledge of curriculum and standards, along with many day-to-day classroom management techniques,” she said.

Renae Fedrick, 30, formerly of Landsborough, now lives at Blackall while teaching Prep at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School.

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