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Hats off to our teachers

It’s the last day of school and teachers across the state are celebrating – but none so much as Winnie Atzeni, Nikeah Evans, Jessica Chewe and Doug Pack.

For these four, the end of term also marks the end of their first semester of teaching; a memorable occasion made even more so due to home-schooling restrictions that accompanied Australia’s COVID-19 lockdown.

Unable to attend school, the University of Southern Queensland graduates adopted an entirely new mode of teaching, conducting their classes online for several weeks.

It was a valuable lesson for 40-year-old Doug Pack who said it was a once in a lifetime experience.

“I don’t know what “normal” teaching is meant to be like,” he said.

“This is all I’ve ever known and I absolutely love it.”

Mr Pack and his three Harristown State School colleagues are part of the University of Southern Queensland’s historic #usqisograd cohort, receiving their testamurs online following the cancellation of large gatherings due to Coronavirus.

To celebrate their graduation, staff at Harristown State School planned a surprise ceremony.

“Doug’s wife called the school explaining that she received his graduation certificate in the mail,” Harristown State School principal Jonathan Druce said.

“Feeling he deserved more than simply finding the certificate on the kitchen bench, she asked if I would present it to him.

“I liked the idea and decided to take it further and celebrate all of our graduating teachers in a semi-formal way considering they all missed their ceremonies due to COVID-19 restrictions.”

The new teachers join the University of Southern Queensland’s Class of 2020, which includes more than 2,500 new graduates spanning almost 50 countries.

teachers graduating
The last day of school was made even more special for four teachers who celebrated their graduation from the University of Southern Queensland.