Five standout achievers from Wagga High School, including two students, two teachers and a parent, have had their hard work recognised after being honoured in this year's public education achievement awards.
Year 12 students Jasmine Blanch and Oliver James both received the minister's award for excellence in student achievement in recognition of their academic excellence, sports, cultural, community and leadership.
The pair received their framed certificates during a school ceremony earlier this week and both said it was a great honour to have their efforts acknowledged.
In his role as the school's vice-captain, Oliver helped lead his classmates through a tumultuous couple of years as they round off their schooling.
"It definitely does mean a bit more considering it has been a difficult few years with the lockdowns and everything," he said.
As well as being a standout student in chemistry and extension maths Jasmine also leads the school orchestra and puts in hours of work each week at her local church.
"I was pretty stoked to be honest I never thought I would ever get anything like this," Jasmine said.
The school's deputy principal Nathan Gunter received the secretary's award for excellent service, in recognition of his work at the school over the past 22 years.
Mr Gunter described receiving the award as a "special moment" sweetened by the fact his family was able to be watch it happen.
"It was fantastic because I had my family from Brisbane watching the livestream and my wife was there to see it as well because she's a teacher at the school as well," Mr Gunter said.
He said it was an honour to receive the recognition and he was looking forward to continuing at the school for years to come.
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Mr Gunter was joined by the school's head of special education Sandra Kerr, who received a minister's award for excellence in teaching.
Since 2017, Mrs Kerr has provided support to students at the school who may need some extra support for their learning. She heads a faculty of over 20 staff and helps students overcome challenges and gain the best possible outcomes.
She says the role is one requires a calm and understanding mindset but is also an incredibly rewarding position.
"What you get in the classroom is not always everything a student has to offer, sometimes you have to dig a little bit deeper, but it's really fantastic when you do see a student fulfilling their potential," Mrs Kerr said.
Also among the award recipients was Helen Mundy, who was one of just five parents awarded the public school parent of the year award.
Mrs Mundy has been the president of the school's P&C group since the start of 2020 and has been involved in spearheading a number of campaigns at the school.
"I'm really delighted to receive it to be honest it's lovely to be recognised but there is a whole team of us who have worked really hard over the past two years," she said.
"Our public schools are so important for our community and the work that the parents,students, staff and teachers put in is really fantastic."
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