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Two unrelated high achievers who share the surname Bailey have taken out top honours in this year’s ‘WA Education’ Awards.

School services - Lynda

Lynda Bailey

Wanneroo Primary School’s Lynda Bailey was named WA Education Assistant of the Year, while Maureen Bailey from Australind Senior High School took out the award for WA Support Services Staff Member of the Year.

For most schools, getting through the busy day would be impossible without the unwavering enthusiasm and specialist skills of support staff like Lynda and Maureen.

Lynda Bailey with students at Wanneroo Primary School. School support staff offer much more than just a helping hand to teachers.

From making sure the school grounds and the classrooms are well maintained, to ensuring students themselves are ready to learn, is all in a day’s work.

Lynda Bailey has worked with special needs students at Wanneroo Primary School for 18 years.

She writes songs and poetry that are used as learning aids, and connects with her students through humour and puppets.

The small goals that Lynda Bailey works through with each child make a big difference to them being ready to learn in a mainstream school.

“The part of my job I enjoy most is always ‘the firsts’,” she explained.

“After working on a goal with a student, there is no better feeling than when they speak a word, write their name or throw a ball for the first time.”

For corporate services manager Maureen Bailey, her 14 year long career at Australind Senior High School extends well beyond the traditional job of a business manager.

School services - Maureen

Maureen Bailey

Maureen Bailey is recognised at her school as a leader as she takes on the complex task of managing, directing and leading the school’s core operations.

“My job is all about looking after the three Ps – people, process and place,” she said.

“I build relationships with stakeholders, make sure resources are available for teachers and students, and build a sense of community at the school to provide students with a positive learning environment.”

Maureen Bailey is well known as an innovative thinker.

“To be recognised by my school community for doing a job that I love is a wonderful thing,” she said.

“My colleagues know how much I care for them and Australind Senior High School, but to be recognised in this way – by people who do not work with me directly – is a very special reward.”

One thing is certain about Lynda and Maureen: they each care deeply for their schools, students and communities.

“When students with special needs master simple skills and they break into a smile in recognition of their achievement, the feeling is amazing,” Lynda Bailey said.