Sue Taylor is an early years educational leader who goes out of her way to make meaningful connections with her community as a whole, leaving lasting impressions.
In her role of Director at C&K’s Flagstone Community Kindergarten, Sue has put in place many initiatives which serve and support staff, children and their families. Her creative and influential leadership has led to Sue’s nomination for the QCT Excellent Leadership in Teaching and Learning Award.
After noticing a gap in support for children during their transition to school, Sue applied for a grant to develop a “Ready Together Transition Library” aimed at better equipping families, children, early years services and schools for children’s transition to school.
The library was initially meant for children at C&K Flagstone Kindergarten only, but when Sue re-evaluated the data and discussed the concept with stakeholders, she identified a critical need for such a resource in a much broader space than just the kindergarten.
Sue’s resourcefulness and forward thinking led to her library initiative being made accessible to not only C&K Flagstone Kindergarten, but also early years centers in Jimboomba and Flagstone as well as both Flagstone State School and Jimboomba State School.
Now, thanks to Sue’s initiative and leadership skills, the library features 66 calico bags each containing a children’s picture book which discusses a specific transition concept (like making friends, starting school, and emotions), a puppet which children can use as a reading companion, and a laminated page of suggested conversation starters which can be useful to the adult reading the book alongside each child.
“This library has provided children and facilities with additional support around transitioning to school, and local early years centers and schools also have access to these resources to share with their local communities as well,” says nominator, Robyn Mercer.
Further demonstrating her willingness to approach education from a collaborative viewpoint, Sue spends a lot of her time in conversation with all involved stakeholders and she genuinely values their opinions.
“She does not expect all team members to agree with her but encourages robust professional conversation to get to the focus of an issue or project.”
“The problem-solving approach used with the children extends across the centre, with all stakeholders encouraged to not only identify problems but also be involved in creating the solution,” says Robyn, “Sue first and foremost sets the needs of others as a priority.”
Sue values the voices of children under her care and guidance, and seeks their input in a problem-solving style, actively encouraging them to think more broadly about community issues in the C&K Creating Kindness Project. She also seeks alternative ways that families can be empowered to debrief and ask for help or advice for their family.
A leader who actively models compassion, respect and kindness amongst her community as a means of inspiring others to do the same, Sue has regularly encouraged staff to develop and lead projects of professional and personal interest. She has single-handedly been a beacon of light for others in need within her community, by raising money and support for flood and fire victims, dropping off food packages and actively supporting her team through their own challenges.
Congratulations Sue on your QCT Excellent Leadership in Teaching and Learning Award nomination.