Principal gets nod for nomination

DANNY Forrest is pretty happy to be in Donald.

And judging from the A Day Made Better nomination Mr Forrest received during the week, Donald is pretty happy to have him as the primary school's principal.

A Day Made Better recognises the extra efforts teachers go to for their students and communities.

Almost 5000 teachers are nominated across Australia and 10 will be officially recognised.

"It was a big surprise and very nice of people to nominate me," Mr Forrest said.

"The big thing in our school is engaging kids and developing the whole child, not just the academic things."

Mr Forrest's idea to engage involves creating a more active experience rather than having students just sit in classrooms.

Mr Forrest has been principal of Donald for about 10 years.

Donald Primary School was one of the first to take part in the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen project.

The school has a play-based learning program for juniors and has recently developed a "junkyard" project that encourages students' creativity.

"We have a lot of sport programs but not every kids loves that," Mr Forrest said.

"With the junkyard project kids come and make cubbies in an area filled with tyres and crates.

"Not many kids build cubbies anymore and it encourages them to be creative at break time.

"We try to get away from computers, which has flowed on to our bush school where kids go and learn about the environment whether its raining or the sun is shining.

But Mr Forrest is also determined to get involved with the community.

He is involved with the Donald Friends and Neighbours group, junior and senior football and is vice president of the RSL.

There are just not enough hours in the day for Mr Forrest.

"The best thing I did was choose my wife well because she looks after the kids while I do all these other things," he said.

"The theory is we have got to get these things done and keep the community strong.

"There's not enough hours in the day but we've got to make it happen."

For more information or to nominate a teacher log on to the award's website www.adaymadebetter.com.au

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