Kangaroo Island Community Education is Australia's best "Regional School of the Year" for a second year in a row.
The Australian Education Awards is the leading independent awards event for the education profession, and KICE was up against the best private and public schools in regional Australia.
Attending the ceremony in Sydney on Friday night, August 16, were KICE head of campus at Kingscote, Peter Philp and Parndana, Matt Linn.
They received the 2019 Regional School of the Year award at the glittering ceremony at Cockle Bay Wharf on Darling Harbour in central Sydney from news presenter Sandra Sully.
Last year, KICE principal Maxine McSherry attended and received the award together with school business manager Jenni Harris, and so she wanted heads of campus to represent KICE this year.
"An absolute credit to every member of the KICE school community!" Mr Linn emailed from the awards ceremony in Sydney. "Phenomenal effort! Thanks for all you do every day, what a wonderful recognition."
Mr Philp said it was an amazing event, as was winning and the award was great recognition of the fantastic work of staff, students and the KI community.
"To have the privilege of accepting the award on behalf of KICE was truly an honour," he said.
"The networking conversations and resulting connections Matt and I made with schools from all over Australia was a fantastic opportunity and several now want to visit KICE. It really was as they say a glittering and glamourous event."
For KICE to hold its own against regional schools from all over Australia, is truly commendable. After winning last year, just to make the final eight regional schools this year from all the nominations was a fantastic achievement but to win again was just 'Wow'! Well done KICE and KI!"
Ms McSherry said the award reflected the hard work and professionalism of her wonderful staff, linked with the ongoing support from parents and the wider community.
"Congratulations KICE, we have an educational program of which we can be proud," she said "I see this as a community award and it's recognition for our whole community.
"From the farmers who open up their blocks for us to come and do science projects, to National Parks and everyone else who works with our students."
Ms McSherry said there were eight finalists in the regional schools category, including six private schools, so it was also a real win for public education.
KI was competing against much larger schools in bigger communities, including Albury and Townsville.
KICE was the only SA school to be make it to the finals in the category, although Immanuel College and the Australian Science and Mathematics School were SA finalists in other categories.
One other SA school won an award on the night, Redeemer Lutheran School in Nuriootpa, which won an innovation in learning award.
The judgin.g panel was made up by a range of influential educators including Pasi Sahlberg, who is the deputy director for the Gonski Institute for Education, she said.
"The feedback from the panel was the commitment we have as a school to build a team around our children and young people to get the very best outcomes was highly evident," Ms McSherry said.
"High-performing rural schools, based on current research from the Country Education Partnership, have in common a vision of kids doing better than their best.
"And a community who expects their school to be offering excellence and a strong commitment to providing opportunities for kids to have experiences beyond their towns," she said.
"I believe these are key elements of the KICE strategic plan and associated curriculum."