Ballarat Grammar teacher wins national award

A BALLARAT teacher will fly to Alabama in July to represent Australia in a rare international space camp, after winning a top national teaching award.

Ballarat Grammar’s Sophie Fenton received the NEiTA 2013 Australian Scholarships Group International Space Camp Award last week, beating thousands of teachers from across the country and in the process becoming the Australian Teacher of the Year.

She and two students from New South Wales will fly to the US Space and Rocket Centre in Huntsville, Alabama, for a one-week adventure where they will explore topics in science and technology covering space history, astronaut training and simulated missions.

The announcement came after she was awarded a national excellence in teaching award last Friday and a state excellence award last year, which put her in the running for the big prize.

The assistant director of staff development and head of history and politics at Ballarat Grammar, Ms Fenton said the recognition was an honour she didn’t expect.

“I often walk out of the classroom thinking ‘next time I will do that better’ and often don’t think I’ve nailed it,” Ms Fenton said.

“But this award is about acknowledging effort, thinking and engagement and I am very humbled.”

Ms Fenton will join 30 other international teacher of the year award recipients at the July event, where the focus will be on teaching principles.

“But it won’t all be work,” Ms Fenton said.

“We also get to do really cool things like flying space shuttles and experiencing weightlessness.”

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Ballarat Grammar teacher Sophie Fenton.

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