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Our Teaching Fellow Yasodai Selvakumaran named in top 10 teachers in the world

21 February 2019

One of Schools Plus’ Teaching Fellows, Yasodai Selvakumaran, has today been named one of the top 10 teachers in the world, taking her one step closer to winning the coveted US$1million Global Teacher Prize.

The inspiring teacher currently teaches history, society and culture and geography at Rooty Hill High School in Western Sydney, where she’s known as ‘Ms Selva’ to her students. 

She is the only Australian in this year’s Top 10, who were selected from more than 10,000 nominations from 179 countries. Now in its fifth year, the US$1million award is the largest prize of its kind.

One of our 2018 Commonwealth Bank Teaching Award recipients, Yasodai entered the Global Teacher Prize following a partnership struck between Schools Plus (which co-presents the Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards) and the Varkey Foundation (which runs the Global Teacher Prize). Under the partnership, recipients of the Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards – known as Teaching Fellows – are specifically invited to apply for the prize.

“I am thrilled to be able to represent the Teaching Fellows in this way,” Yasodai said.

“It’s an honour to represent Australia at the Global Teacher Prize and follow a consistent record of Australians in the Top 50 and Top 10. This is a testament to the quality of Australian teachers on a global scale. I’m so proud to follow in this tradition and especially to represent Rooty Hill High School and public education.”

Yasodai wasCBA RootyHill 108 recognised by the Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards for her expertise in mentoring and collaborating for innovation. As one of 2018’s 12 Teaching Fellows, she has contributed to developing the goals and structure of the Fellowship, which aims to advocate on behalf of the teaching profession and influence education practice and policy in Australia.

“The 2018 Fellowship opportunity added so much richness to my professional experiences, including professional learning and a close network with the other eleven Fellows,” Yasodai said.

“This has been an unparalleled year of professional growth for me. I was fortunate to have travelled to Singapore on a study tour, co-presented findings to the NSW Department of Education executive, completed a Masters-level subject in Education Research, worked with the Fellowship team to design a strategy for our continued work, and participated in the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement in Norway.”

Next month, Yasodai and seven other 2018 Teaching Fellows will travel to Dubai to attend the Global Education and Skills Forum, at which the Global Teacher Prize will be awarded on 24 March. Representatives from Schools Plus will also attend.

Schools Plus CEO, Rosemary Conn, said Yasodai was an outstanding representative of Australia’s great teachers, who worked every day to change students’ lives.

“This year’s Prize attracted more than 10,000 nominations and applications from 179 countries, so to have one of our Teaching Fellows named amongst the Top 10 educators in the world is incredibly exciting,” Ms Conn said.

“We know Yasodai will do us proud on the international stage, inspiring teachers and others around the world in the same way she has inspired so many in Australia.”

Maths teacher and YouTube sensation Eddie Woo – a 2017 Teaching Fellow – was named in the Global Teacher Prize Top 10 last year.

The 2019 Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards will be presented on Friday 29 March in Sydney.


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