Monterey Secondary College educator winner of Early Career Teaching Award

Congratulations to educator Madison Smith from Monterey Secondary College, who has been named an Early Career Teaching Award winner at this year’s Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards, presented by Schools Plus. The Early Career Teaching Award celebrates inspiring teachers who have demonstrated leadership and innovation in their first five years of the profession.

Madison Smith, Monterey Secondary College, VIC - Early Career Teacher
Madison Smith from Monterey Secondary College

As a Numeracy Learning Specialist at Monterey Secondary College, Madison’s passion for ensuring that all students facing disadvantage have access to a high-quality education is a key driver for all her work. Through the introduction of several initiatives, Madison has been able to transform student mindsets and increase engagement in the subjects of maths and science.

Monterey Secondary College in Frankston North serves one of the most disadvantaged communities in Victoria. When Madison first started teaching Science, the school had limited resources, students were disengaged and class attendance was low. Many students attending the College had little interest in Maths or Science, nor did they believe studying these subjects could be useful.

Madison supported her team to develop comprehensive resources for each year level and built a cross-year-level rubric, enabling students to set their own goals and chart their progress. This approach also enabled teachers to incorporate practical experiences that were more aligned to students’ interests. Madison also spearheaded activities promoting science in the school, including incursions from a zookeeper and a science mini film festival.

Madison and her team also implemented a Maths program called Number Talks, after identifying arithmetic fluency as a barrier for students. This led to an improvement in mental calculation accuracy and is now being implemented across all Year 7 to 9 classes and has been introduced at the local primary schools. 

Her initiatives have been life changing for many students and have led to increased attendance and results in maths and science across all year levels, including the introduction of a year 10 Science elective to a cohort previously so disengaged in the subject that two classes had to be collapsed into one.

Madison is one of 22 Teaching Awards Alumni, shortlisted from more than 500 educators, who have been recognised for their innovation and unwavering commitment towards their students’ education and school communities and exemplify how education can transform children’s lives, creating brighter opportunities for all young Australians. 

Meet all the 2023 Teaching Awards Winners here.

To learn more about Our Place’s work in partnership with Monterey Secondary College click here.