BANYAN Fields teacher Nicole Bechaz has been recognised as Teacher of the Year awards at the Victorian Early Years Awards.
The award ceremony is run by the state government Education and Training department.
Mrs Bechaz said she was “overwhelmed” to receive the accolade.
“There was such a high calibre of people in the room. To be recognised for the work that we’re doing with children and within the local community is a huge achievement,” she said.
The Banyan Fields kindergarten teacher received the award for demonstrating innovation and exemplary practice in early childhood education.
One of the initiative that earned Mrs Bechaz the award was the speech program to help children who attend the kinder, particularly those with additional needs.
“The ‘Let’s Chat’ Oral Language Program has been instrumental in increasing parents skills and knowledge around the importance of early reading,” Mrs Bechaz said.
Mrs Bechaz will receive a $10,000 grant to be spent on professional development.
“I plan spend the grant money attending an international conference with a colleague in Canada led by Dr Bruce Perry, a leading expert in trauma and the effects on neurological development,” she said.
Banyan Fields comes under the umbrella of the Community Kinders Plus organisation. Their CEO Jane Spencer said “Nicole is an exceptional teacher and an inspirational leader. This is the third year that CKP has had one of their early childhood teachers awarded the Victorian Teacher of the Year. I’m so pleased Nicole has been recognised for her incredible work and what she brings to early childhood education.”