Casey Grammar School - Awards


Casey Grammar School - Ms Danielle Searles

Finalist - Primary School Teacher of the Year (Non-Government)

Danielle Searles, has been recognised as one of the country’s leading primary school teachers.

Danielle, who leads our Art program, is one of only a handful of teachers to be announced as an Excellence Awardee in the prestigious Australian Education Awards 2024. The annual awards recognise excellence and innovation in teaching, and earning a spot on the highly-contested shortlist is a significant achievement.

“I was very taken aback when I found out that I was nominated for these awards. It really is an honour just to be nominated and to find out that I’m a finalist is an amazing surprise,” says Danielle. “These awards recognise the hard work that all teachers do each and every day for the students they care for and guide throughout their educational journey.” 

Danielle was nominated by our Principal, Fiona Williams, for the commitment and creativity she has brought to developing the school’s Art program. Upon her commencement at the school, Danielle created a new Visual Arts program and a studio that offers sewing, wire work, sculpture, collage, clay work, painting, jewellery-making and fashion design. 

She also organised the inaugural Junior School Art Show, which attracted around 1,000 visitors over two days. Danielle, who teaches Foundation to Year 6, is also an intervention teacher who assists students needing extra literacy support. She has completed specialist MiniLit training that has enabled her to significantly improve reading, comprehension and writing skills in the students she works with each week.

 “Casey Grammar is thrilled to see Danielle recognised as a finalist in the Australian Education Awards. She is very worthy of that recognition,” says Fiona Williams. “Danielle is an exceptional teacher who has had a huge impact on the school and brings creativity and passion to everything she does at Casey Grammar.”



Casey Grammar School - Mrs Louise Piva

Casey Teacher Makes Educator Hotlist

Casey Grammar School's Louise Piva has earned a place on this year’s prestigious Educator Hotlist – an annual list recognising the country’s most dedicated and innovative teachers. Louise is one of only a handful of teachers from Victoria who made the cut in 2023.

“I feel very humbled and definitely a little overwhelmed. It was certainly a shock as I had no idea I’d been nominated,” says Louise, Head of English. “I became a teacher because I believe education and teachers can make a real difference to young people and to the future they can create for themselves and others. That is why, 30 years later, I am still a teacher."

“I see students in my class succeed where they thought they couldn’t and that is why I’m passionate about this job. All students are capable of learning and I am committed to making sure that is the case in my class.”

Since arriving at Casey Grammar School, Louise has introduced a series of enhancements to the school including introducing technology to improve collaboration, communication, assessment and curriculum management across all year levels and units. She created activities to build independent reading and introduced the SmartLab online literacy program to monitor and diagnose language and literacy challenges and to find opportunities to extend highly capable students.




Casey Grammar School - Principal, Fiona WilliamsCasey Grammar School - Mrs Vanessa Hodgkiss


Australia’s Most Influential Educators

Casey Grammar’s outstanding education programs have again been recognised with two finalists in the 2023 Australian Education Awards.

Principal Fiona Williams is a School Principal of the year – Non-government finalist and Vanessa Hodgkiss is shortlisted in the Primary School Teacher of the year – Non-government category. As finalists in these national awards, Fiona and Vanessa have been recognised as among Australia’s best educators.

Casey Grammar also continues to win national recognition with our Principal, Fiona Williams, and Head of Early Years, Vanessa Hodgkiss, today named as two of Australia’s Most Influential Educators. This year, Casey Grammar is the only school in the country to have two of its team receive this honour.

The awards, organised by The Educator, celebrate education leaders and changemakers who have made an impact on students, school communities and the education sector. They also recognise those who demonstrate innovation and creativity to drive Australia’s education industry onwards and upwards.

Fiona Williams

As a leader, Fiona continually strives for excellence in education while also recognising the importance of strong relationships, empathy and wellbeing across the Casey Grammar community.

In the past 12 months alone, Fiona focused on continuing to advance the school’s learning culture and she completed the Principal’s Leadership Academy at Harvard Business School. She also implemented the Casey Grammar Data Dashboard to enhance individualised learning, completed Casey Grammar’s Strategic Plan, and developed the Casey Model of curriculum planning and assessment.

Vanessa Hodgkiss

As an energetic and innovative educator, Vanessa’s passion for evidence-based teaching helps students and staff reach their individual potential. She is a lifelong learner who is passionate about improving her practice and has an unwavering commitment to building school programs that deliver the very best classroom experience.

Since arriving at Casey Grammar last year, Vanessa has initiated a ground-breaking partnership with the University of Melbourne which focuses on how the science of learning can best enhance student engagement and self-directed learning. That work has informed and elevated the teaching and learning culture at the school.





Casey Grammar School - Mrs Sandra Torcasio

Primary School Teacher of the Year Winner (Sandra Torcasio)

Sandra Torcasio of Casey Grammar School has been declared Primary School Teacher of the Year - Non-government at the annual Australian Education Awards.

At the award ceremony in Sydney on Friday (12 August), Sandra’s strong commitment to both her students and her own learning was acknowledged. The Australian Education Awards, presented by The Educator, reward effective leadership, commitment to the profession, academic achievements, and innovation. Sandra excels in all these areas. Principal Fiona Williams said that Casey Grammar staff and students have long known and appreciated how exceptional Sandra is.


School Principal of the Year – Non-government Finalist (Fiona Williams)

Casey Grammar has been recognised with two finalists in the 2022 Australian Education Awards.

Our principal, Fiona Williams, is a finalist in the School Principal of the year – Non-government category and Sandra Torcasio is shortlisted in the Primary School Teacher of the year – Non-government category. As finalists in these prestigious national awards, Fiona and Sandra have been recognised as among Australia’s best educators.

This wonderful news underlines the quality of Casey Grammar’s people and education programs and highlights how hard Fiona, Sandra and their colleagues have worked over the past two years. The Australian Education Awards recognise effective leadership, commitment to the profession, academic achievements, and innovation.





Schools that Excel Award Winner

Casey Grammar School has been announced as the 2021 winner of The Age ‘Schools that Excel’ Award in the category of non-government school in Melbourne’s Southern region.

The award recognises schools that have shown sustained improvement over the past 10 years and have demonstrated significant advancement of VCE results in their region over this period. Casey Grammar School’s VCE students have been scoring 40 much more often in recent years than they were 10 years ago with 5.7 per cent of the year 12 cohort reaching the mark last year, compared with 0.4 per cent in 2011.

The school also achieved a VCE median score of 30 for the second consecutive year in 2020. Casey Grammar School has a strong focus on implementing strategies and tactics to ensure results continuously improve. These include capping enrolments, despite increasing demand.