Jacqui Zervos has dedicated almost three decades to being a caring and compassionate advocate for generations of students at Brisbane Grammar School.
Having started as Geography teacher at the School in 1995, her passion for finding better ways to deliver education to improve student results – academically and personally – on a large scale have landed her many leadership roles at BGS.
Her hard work is being recognised at a state level. She has been awarded the Educational Leadership Commendation Award for 2023 by the Australian Council for Educational Leaders.
As Executive Director of Educational Innovation, Ms Zervos focuses on building better student-teacher relationships, improving academic results and helping students honing their critical thinking skills.
When Queensland shifted to the QCE/ATAR system, Ms Zervos played a crucial role in preparing BGS students to adapt and excel in the new environment. Her transformational work is ongoing.
Ms Zervos and her team have developed an innovative approach to teaching and learning known as Effective Thinking Cultures – one of the School’s critical projects.
The goal is to prepare students for a changing world by developing their capabilities in innovation, entrepreneurship, lifelong learning and much more. Students are taught to do this through critical and creative thinking, communication and collaboration skills.
Ms Zervos leads the Learning Organisation Team, which is a specialist group responsible for working with staff on the improvement of the School’s educational practices.
This includes drawing on literature on how teachers best learn, professional development sessions, a coaching program, and opportunities for teachers to visit the classrooms of their colleagues.
Ms Zervos is known for a leadership style that is collaborative and characterised by integrity and loyalty. In her mentorship, she models compassion and understanding.
The Educational Leadership Commendation Award acknowledges: “the initiative of educational leaders who have worked positively and collaboratively.”
“By developing a strong collegial approach, their work has enhanced the professional capacity amongst colleagues and other educators.”
Ms Zervos’ team nominated her for the award, and Headmaster Anthony Micallef said: "Ms Zervos is an outstanding educator, school leader and person."
"Her care for students and colleagues and her dedication to the teaching profession is unrivalled in our context. It is a privilege to work alongside Ms Zervos. Brisbane Grammar School and its students and teachers has benefited immensely from her knowledge, labour and compassion."
Recipients were presented with their awards at the ACELQ Awards ceremony, at Wavell State High School in Brisbane, on 22 August.
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