FOUR inspirational educators from schools in Naracoorte and Penola have been announced as regional winners in the SA Public Teaching Awards.
From Naracoorte South Primary School, principal Anna Young was a winner in the Inspirational School/Preschool Leader category and teacher Natalie Gherardin in the Inspirational Primary School Teacher category.
Penola Primary School's Keliesha Barns was a winner in the Inspirational Early Career Teacher category and Penola High School's Winsley Wighton was named an Inspirational Secondary School Teacher.
There were 69 winners in seven categories and all were nominated by students, staff, parents or members of the wider community.
Mrs Young was surprised she was singled out for a nomination because of the "outstanding league of teachers in the region".
She felt the award came about because of the support of her staff and the learning environment they all played a role in creating at their school.
"It is a team effort," she said.Mrs Young is in her seventh year at Naracoorte South Primary School, and she has been in the education industry for 30 years.
She said she believed building relationships was very important in educating.
"My interest is here in the school - I take great pride in knowing every student and creating a connection with them.
"Every student deserves the best possible opportunity, regardless of whatever their circumstance may be."
Ms Gherardin has been teaching for 12 years, and has been at Naracoorte South for five.
She said it was a "bit of a shock" to be nominated but the recognition was nice.
Like Mrs Young, she said the award was as much a team effort as it was individual.
"I am very lucky to be in this school, it is a great team environment.
"Relationships come first and the thing that makes a teacher really good is the ability to think and look outside the box.
"Ms Gherardin received three anonymous nominations for the award.Both will attend the ceremony at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide on October 5, World Teacher's Day.