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Anthony Horn, West Beechboro Primary School
More than just marks
You cannot underestimate the impact a great teacher can have on someone’s life.
The 2018 WA Premier’s Primary Teacher of the Year winner is testament to that.
Anthony Horn, teacher at West Beechboro Primary School, was inspired by a teacher in his youth and went on to become an inspirational teacher himself, highly respected and admired by students, parents and colleagues alike.
If you were asked to describe a great teacher – hardworking, committed, dedicated, caring, humble, teachable and respectful would be the words that come to mind. These words sum up Anthony Horn, WA Primary School Teacher of the Year, who reached finalist status in the highly-contested category two years running before today’s win.
His teachers have come in many forms: family members, a classroom teacher, even his own students.
“As a young man I spent a lot of time at my grandparents,” Anthony said.
“My grandmother taught me how to paint – something I still love doing now.
“I would watch my grandfather frame my work in his shed where he would teach me a lot about respect and how a man should act.”
It is obvious from speaking with Anthony that his family is incredibly important and have helped shape both the person and the teacher he is today.
“I am still inspired by my grandfather, even to this day,” he said.
“He has long since passed – but I still try to conduct myself in a way that would honour him.”
Anthony also relies on his older brother, Andrew, for advice on many things.
“He has been there for me my whole life and I trust his judgement implicitly.”
Anthony’s teaching career has provided him and his students with life-changing and life-saving experiences.
“When I taught at Westminster Primary School, a student saved my life by grabbing me as I started to climb up on a desk to hang some work – absentmindedly forgetting I had turned the fans on!” Anthony recalls.
“Not funny then, but definitely so now!”
As for life-changing, a comment from a student Anthony taught decades ago says it all:
“My principal was recently contacted by an ex-student of mine from Westminster Senior Primary,” Anthony said.
“The student shared how he felt that I had shown him respect and tried my utmost to cater for his unique set of needs.
“To hear this, some 20 years after the event, has left an indelible mark.”
So what made Anthony, a painter, a lover of sports and architecture, choose teaching as a career?
“At the end of Year 12, I failed to get into my first choice of architecture,” he said.
“I was surrounded at the time by friends who had all chosen teaching and were loving it so I decided to give it a try.”
Anthony was also inspired by his secondary school History teacher, Ms Sue Flett.
“Ms Flett made the subject come alive. We would have amazing class discussions,” he said.
Anthony has carried this teaching style with him into his own classroom.
“A great day at work is when my students are engaging in lively, subject discussion – where they feel confident enough to express their opinions.”
Anthony’s teaching style focuses on social as well as academic skills and he always considers the whole child. He has a quote, “My kids are much more than marks on a page”, which he has placed in a very visible place in his classroom to ensure he is reminded constantly of what is important.
He exudes boundless interest in his students and supports them well beyond the classroom, running after-hours mathematics classes for high achievers and students who need extra support, often giving up lunch and recess for sporting teams.
It’s clear his students adore him. Many feel that because “Mr Horn” notices them, he is able to teach each child to their individual strengths and weaknesses and that “we are better than we thought”.
Parents believe that he cares for each and every child in his classroom, enabling him to identify potential talent in individual students and to then inspire each child to want to do well and to improve.
And the one thing Anthony wants his students to remember about him?
“How much they were valued.”
WA Premier’s Primary Teacher of the Year 2018
This award recognises primary school teachers who are knowledgeable, caring and creative - and passionate about inspiring young students to want to learn. They encourage respect in the classroom, know their students and how they learn, and engage in professional learning.
Proudly sponsored by BHP.
- Anthony Horn, West Beechboro Primary School
- Stephanie Briggs-Killick, Allendale Primary School
- Courtney Johnston, Rostrata Primary School
- Francesca Knowles, East Manjimup Primary School