Coolabunia State School principal Murray Johnston with the 125th anniversary plaque which was officially unveiled by Governor Paul de Jersey at the school in 2016

June 29, 2018

Coolabunia State School principal Murray Johnston has been named “Principal of the Year” for the Darling Downs South West Region education region.

Murray has been principal at Coolabunia for more than 32 years, guiding the students in “the Coolabunia way”.

Before that he was principal at Formartin State School (near Jondaryan) and at Hebel State School.

He began his teaching career at Nobby State School in 1979.

Murray was one of 50 regional winners and 40 regional commended recipients announced by Education Minister Grace Grace on Friday in Queensland’s annual Showcase Awards for Excellence in Schools.

Other local schools to get a mention were Kingaroy State High School, who were commended in the Award for Excellence in Rural and Remote Education for their program, “STEM: I Can Do it!”; and Nanango State School which received an Award for Excellence in the Early and Primary Years for taking part with four other Darling Downs South West Region schools in the “iAIM 100KM Club”, an initiative to get students running or walking 100km during the school year.

“The Showcase Awards are the most prestigious educational awards in Queensland and it is incredibly significant for these schools to be recognised for their contribution,” Ms Grace said.

“The quality of submissions for 2018 was very high and made the task of selecting award winners extremely difficult for the regional judging teams.

“More than 70,000 state school students were involved in the 118 programs submitted for consideration.”

Each regional award winner will receive a $1000 development grant and each regional commendation recipient will receive a $500 grant which will further support the delivery of programs and initiatives.

“It is important that we recognise the great work that our educators are doing day to day to ensure that Queensland continues to be at the forefront of new education practices,” Ms Grace said.

“I wish the regional award winners well as they compete in the next round of the Showcase Awards and potentially become State finalists.”

State finalists will be announced on July 30 and State award winners will be announced at the Showcase Awards Gala Dinner in Brisbane on Friday, October 26, coinciding with World Teachers’ Day.

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Darling Downs South West Region

Award for Excellence in the Early and Primary Years

  • Winner: Darling Down South West Region iAIM Action Schools – Dalby State School, Charleville School of Distance Education, Nanango State School, Roma State College, Vale View State School, “iAIM 100KM Club”

Showcase Award for Excellence in Rural and Remote Education

  • Commendation: Kingaroy State High School, “STEM: I Can Do This!”

Jack Pizzey Award for Principal of the Year

  • Winner: Murray Johnston, Coolabunia State School

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