Clermont State High School's Carly Bell has been named a finalist in the Outstanding Contribution to School Community category of the 2020 Queensland College of Teachers TEACHX Awards.
Clermont State High School's Carly Bell has been named a finalist in the Outstanding Contribution to School Community category of the 2020 Queensland College of Teachers TEACHX Awards.

How CQ teacher is changing the lives of students and staff

A CLERMONT teacher has been named as a finalist in the Queensland College of Teachers TEACHX Awards for her dedication to her students and encouraging more teachers to work rurally.

Clermont State High School’s Head of Department – Senior Schooling, Carly Bell, who is the first female rugby league player from Clermont to play for Queensland and was pivotal in establishing the women’s team in the town, believes the only way to truly live is to participate.

She takes an active role in making Clermont a welcoming and positive place for beginning teachers, including setting up welcome dinners for new and visiting staff, picking up teachers from the Emerald airport when they arrive and helping them to set-up.

“Any of those types of little things can make a big difference," Ms Bell said.

“Quite often, it’s about connecting people and giving them opportunities where they can make a difference.”

Clermont State High School's Carly Bell has been named a finalist in the Outstanding Contribution to School Community category of the 2020 Queensland College of Teachers TEACHX Awards.
Clermont State High School's Carly Bell has been named a finalist in the Outstanding Contribution to School Community category of the 2020 Queensland College of Teachers TEACHX Awards.

Ms Bell’s success has led to her being named a finalist in the Outstanding Contribution to School Community category of the Queensland College of Teachers TEACHX Awards.

She believes small actions are also part of building student confidence; for them attending university means leaving town and going into the unknown.

So, Ms Bell has them attend leadership conferences at James Cook University to become familiar with the campus and make connections with people in Townsville.

Ms Bell has helped increase the proportion of the school’s students enrolling at university from four per cent in 2015 to 31 per cent in 2018.

She is also responsible for increasing the retention of beginning teachers, who are staying beyond the normal three-year cycle, by 60 per cent.

She has loved working regionally since she made the move from Brisbane 16 years ago.

“Out in the rural communities you strip away all the materialistic things and it comes down to relationships and opportunities,” she said.

“Those things that you can do in the metropolitan areas, you don’t have those same events here, instead what you really have is each other.

“So, you start to form really good relationships with people whether that’s at school or in the community and all of a sudden, a barbecue is the best event ever.”

She encourages students to get active and involved in their local community and has driven the school bus to Emerald and Townsville to ensure students can participate in activities and events.

She is enormously proud of her school, the students and staff, and the community as a whole.

“We’re always wanting to get better and we’re always getting better,” she said.

“Come out to our school and you’ll know it as soon as you walk through the gate, you’ll feel it, and that’s quite often what visitors will say, that they can feel our culture when they walk in. Just that positivity, and that’s something I’m proud of.”

The winners of the TEACHX Awards will be announced on October 29, on the eve of World Teachers’ Day in Australia.



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