School at community heart

Year 6 international student Jill (Jingyu Li) with pre primary students Eleanor Hoogland and Ashley Ford, principal Chad Sexton-Finck and Year 6 international student Larry (Haoran Li). Picture: Matt Jelonek www.communitypix.com.au d402631
Year 6 international student Jill (Jingyu Li) with pre primary students Eleanor Hoogland and Ashley Ford, principal Chad Sexton-Finck and Year 6 international student Larry (Haoran Li). Picture: Matt Jelonek www.communitypix.com.au d402631

Mr Sexton-Finck was nominated last year by then-Belmont councillor Glenys Godfrey for a National Excellence in Teaching Awards (NEiTA) and was one of 12 finalists in Australia of 1350 nominees.

‘I originally chose teaching because the people I liked at school were teachers,’ Mr Sexton-Finck said.

Celebrating his 11th year as a principal, Mr Sexton-Finck has taught in the United States, England and Germany.

He speaks French, German, Spanish, Italian and English.

Mr Sexton-Finck’s multilingual background has been a strong influence on the school, with all Redcliffe students from kindergarten to Year 3 taking part in bilingual English-Mandarin classes.

‘They’re way ahead, I can count from one to 10 and they can count to 100,’ he said.

‘It would be tremendous if kids could relate to China through language or culture and through that they’d be a lot more useful to WA businesses.’

The NEiTA committee recognised Mr Sexton-Finck for maximising engagement and achievement for every student, upskilling his staff by linking their personal interests to their professional innovation and forming strong partnerships with local businesses, which helped give the school a sense of community.

Redcliffe Primary also won the District Award for Excellence in Innovation prize for Best School Learning Environment.