Oakleigh Grammar’s educator Shelley Parkes has been awarded two prestigious accolades; she is the winner of The Educator Magazine’s Most Influential Educators Award and an Excellence Award.

Ms Parkes is also a finalist for Primary School Principal of the Year – Non-government, with the overall winner to be announced later in the year.

“I am humbled to have been recognised in this way. Although I have been named as the recipient of these awards, the acknowledgment belongs to a mighty team that is much bigger than just me,” Ms Parkes said.

The judges acknowledged that during the first pandemic-impacted year of remote learning and teaching in Melbourne, Ms Parkes understood how to make the best use of remote learning. Her devotion and strong desire to see all students achieve, allowed a remote learning model that was creative, responsive and flexible to meet the needs of individual students during what proved to be a period of transitioning into and out of remote learning for two years.

“Success is ours to achieve when we bring passion, authenticity and professionalism together. The students influence all that I do and the staff walks with me to ensure our students are central to each and every decision we make as educators. I am privileged to work with such an incredible community,” said Ms Parkes.

Mark Robertson, Principal of Oakleigh Grammar, congratulates winner of The Educator Magazine’s 2022 Most Influential Educators award Shelley Parkes, Head of Junior School, Oakleigh Grammar. Photo: Supplied

In the category of Most Influential Educators in Australia, she has been recognised for her clear vision and reimagined approach and delivery to learning and teaching across the Junior School by designing the unique Quartet Model.

The Quartet Model allowed for the curriculum to run parallel whether on-site or remote, providing continuity for the staff and students, which met the expectations of parents for their child’s continued learning through four phases that Explore, Engage, Explain and Elaborate student learning. It is recognised that each child develops and achieves at their own pace; growth is unique to them in their time at school. Using different approaches, the phases of The Quartet Model allow students to develop into individual inquiry learners.

Ms Parkes’s volunteer work also contributed to her recognition as a Most Influential Educator. She has worked with Indigenous communities in Darwin and local charity organisations closer to home.