An Inverell High School student was celebrated this week for being a strong all-rounder during her secondary years.
Teachers at Inverell High School say Imogen McDonald strives for personal excellence in her academic and extra-curricular pursuits and her achievements in the NSW Youth Parliament and role on the Student Representative Council (giving students a voice ) illustrate that.
Renowned for her cooperation with others when public speaking or performing ballet and music, Imogen's integrity, caring nature and belief in a positive future for all has been frequently demonstrated through her community involvement and fundraising efforts.
Teachers also say she is an excellent role model for other students and displays a deep understanding of democracy.
On Monday it was announced the star student was one of only two students in New England to be recognised, and one of only 35 students across New South Wales to receive a Minister's Award for Excellence in Student Achievement.
The awards recognise outstanding Year 12 students who have excelled in their secondary years across academic excellence, sports, cultural, community and leadership.
Elka Devney from Moree Secondary College also received an award.
The award is part of the 2020 NSW Minister's and Secretary's Awards for Excellence where outstanding student achievement and inspiring public education staff and parents are recognised.
This year the awards recognised 120 individuals and schools showcasing NSW public school students, staff and parents who have made major contributions to their education communities and serve as role models to their peers.
They also acknowledge schools that have embraced innovative programs to improve student wellbeing and academic results and are changing the way education is delivered within the government system.
The award recipients, from right across NSW, were selected in the following categories: Minister's Award for Excellence in Student Achievement; Minister's Award for Excellence in Teaching; Secretary's Award for Excellent Service; Secretary's Award for an Outstanding School Initiative; Secretary's School Achievement Award; and Public School Parent of the Year
The NSW Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning, Sarah Mitchell, said the awards affirmed the high standards, dedication and community connections in the public education system.
"These awards highlight the tremendous contribution that students, teachers, support staff, principals and the school community make to public education in NSW as we strive for learning and teaching excellence," Ms Mitchell said.
Department of Education Secretary Mark Scott said it was timely to celebrate the range of achievements in a difficult year for schools, staff and students.
"This year's recipients showed the remarkable flexibility and resourcefulness in our school communities when faced with the learning challenges of COVID-19," he said.
"Many of these schools and teachers have used their significant knowledge of education in their communities to lift their school standards and recognise all students as their own learners."
Public Education Foundation executive director David Hetherington said the foundation was proud to host the awards on behalf of Education Minister Sarah Mitchell and Department Secretary Mark Scott.