Tanya Davies MP. Member for Mulgoa.


Friday April 15, 2016

Member for Mulgoa, Tanya Davies MP, congratulated Mr Istavann Adkins and Mr Joel Harvey, local teachers at Erskine Park High School, for being awarded Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education scholarships.

As part of the scholarship program, 73 recipients from across the State will retrain as specialist science or mathematics teachers, benefiting from a $5,000 study grant, study leave and a guaranteed permanent teaching position upon completion.

“With three-quarters of the fastest growing occupations in Australia requiring skills in STEM, this scholarship program represents the Baird Government’s determination in providing best-quality education for students, so that they may attain their best and thrive in their post-education life,” Tanya Davies said.

In light of Mr Adkins and Mr Harvey receiving scholarships to retrain as mathematics teachers, Deputy Principal, Mr Greg Smith, reflected on the significance of STEM and the impact that it would have for Erskine Park High School.

“Mathematics is a difficult subject to staff in any school. The fact that two of our current PDHPE teachers will be retrained in this field sends a clear signal to students that mathematics isn’t just important but is accessible for everyone,” Mr Smith said.

“It is a great opportunity for the school to have keen, dedicated and enthusiastic young teachers in mathematics. The addition of Mr Adkins and Mr Harvey to the mathematics department is welcomed and is directly due to the STEM scholarship program,” said Mr Smith.   

“I am particularly proud that both of these young men, locals who grew up attending schools in the Penrith area, are being retrained as mathematics teachers, as I’m sure that their vigour and energy, along with the relationships they have already forged with students at Erskine Park High, will break down barriers and greatly assist in students’ learning and understanding,” Tanya Davies said.

Over the course of the next four years, 320 public school teachers will have the opportunity to retrain as specialists in mathematics and science.

“The STEM initiative will assist students across NSW to develop fundamental skills in mathematics and science and help them navigate the rapidly-changing 21st century,” said Tanya Davies.

“Mr Adkins and Mr Harvey ought to be congratulated for this wonderful achievement, as with all of the teachers and staff at Erskine Park High School,” Tanya Davies concluded.