NORTH Balga Primary School education assistant Karen Masters, who has been at the school for 14 years, is aiming to continue getting kids to love reading.
The Hocking and former Balga resident (43) started working at the school in 2004 after securing a position following her practical work experience.
During her career, she has supported families and students from kindergarten to Year 2, teaching phonological awareness, rejuvenating the library and helping develop an oral language program, which was launched this year.
She was recently nominated as the WA finalist in the Australian Teacher Aide of the Year awards but lost out to national winner Lyn Lomdi from Queensland.
Ms Masters, who is also the school’s attendance and library officer, said it felt “overwhelming” to be nominated for the award by deputy principal Jemima Tomilson.
“To find out I was the finalist, I thought it was a joke because there are some amazing schools and education assistants but to actually be recognised for everything I do was really awesome,” she said.
Ms Masters said she was motivated by working with an amazing team, families and students.
“I have learnt so much from every teacher that I actually work with, the kids and families,” she said.
“I am always taking up professional learning opportunities to keep up with current trends and getting involved in local networks to see what is happening in other schools.
“Testing is being done now for the oral language program and we are actually seeing big improvements.”
Her goal was to keep encouraging kids to enjoy reading and keep them engaged with education.