Skip to main content

Here is some advice, favourite memories, and more from a few of the terrific teachers we have throughout the Cairns region.  

Terrifc Teachers 

Breck Nielson

St Mary’s Catholic College, Woree

“I enjoy having students stop and thank me years down the line, it’s so genuine.

Teaching has changed so much since I went to school, though teenagers are fundamentally still the same. They want to learn and as teachers we just want the opportunity to teach them well. We want exactly the same thing for a student that their parents do too.

My advice to parents would be to let their child build resilience and to instil a work ethic in them. Find out what gets them up in the morning and nurture it.”


Siouxie Fitzpatrick

St Gerard Majella School, Woree

“I especially love seeing my past students at high school or starting a career and seeing them be successful. It’s always nice when they stop and say a quick hello. You spend so much time with them over a year (sometimes longer) and it’s nice that they remember you.

The best thing about teaching at St Gerard Majella is the amazing community spirit. I have never been at a school that has such a strong sense of support and compassion.

Every child is different and possesses their own unique attributes. Progress can be small, but they will get there.”


Michael James

St Andrew’s Catholic College, Redlynch

“My proudest moment as a teacher was when a group of my senior students received highest marks in senior maths and then were all accepted to study Mathematics at Oxford University.

I love teaching the subject, it can make so much sense to students as soon as they can apply their knowledge. You get so many ‘light bulb’ moments from students, it’s great to witness.

My advice to parents is to teach students the importance of resilience. It is okay to fail if they tried their best. You cannot learn anything from a correct answer.”


Verdi Reid

St Andrew’s Catholic College, Redlynch

“The absolute highlight of my long teaching career is being a Teacher Librarian. A common myth is that Teacher Librarians spend their time reading books all day; nothing could be further from the truth. We are first and foremost teachers, and are privileged to work with every student and teacher in the school.

I think most parents do not know that teachers feel they hold such a privileged position in their child’s life. I hope parents know that we love their children and always want the best for them.”


Kelly D’Andrea

St Therese’s School, Bentley Park

“The highlight of my teaching career is seeing a child realise for the first time that they can read. Parents also play a huge role in reading, starting from birth. Reading a book a day is the best thing a parent can do for their child’s education.

The best thing about teaching at St Therese’s is the community. The students, the families and the staff make it a fantastic place to be every day. I count myself very lucky to be a part of something that is more than just a school, it is one big loving family.”


Sarah Galletly

Our Lady Help of Christians School, Earlville

The best thing about being a teacher at OLHOC is teaching and having fun with the wonderful students. Interacting with families and being a part of a fantastic, friendly community.

A highlight of teaching for me is when students have a light bulb moment and understand their learning. It’s great to see their confidence in their learning grow to automaticity.

My advice to parents is to talk to your kids about everything, from current events to travel, animals, space. Discuss, debate and challenge your children in a safe environment to have an opinion and back it up.