The inaugural Department of Education Service Recognition Dinner will honor 59 individuals for their commitment to the teaching profession, including Ann Barry from Cessnock West Public School, Kathleen Prudence from Singleton High School, Leo Hudson from Toronto High School, and Graham Hudson from Dungog High School.
At the awards ceremony this evening, some of the state’s most dedicated and diligent public educators will be honored for their 50 years of departmental service.
Graham Hudson started working for the Department in 1970, and his brother Leo Hudson will celebrate his 50th year in a few weeks. In 1965, Ann Barry took her first teaching job at Muswellbrook South Public School, and Kathleen Prudence started her career in teaching in 1969.
Prior to being drafted into the Malayan and Singaporean peacekeeping forces, Graham Hudson was a teacher. After his return, he became a teacher at several high schools in the Hunter. In June 2020, the students honored him with a standing ovation when he turned 50.
Leo, his brother, started working as a teacher at Hunter Girls’ High in 1974. Later, he transferred to Newcastle Technology High, and the following year, he worked at Toronto High, where he is still employed.
Throughout his career, he has guided trips to Japan and New Caledonia and trained a student who is currently a professor of anesthesiology at Toronto University Teaching Hospital and a surgeon in Canada.
Kathleen Prudence started her teaching career at Manildra Central School and is currently a Head Teacher of Mathematics. She worked as a teacher in Quirindi and Mullumbimby before moving to the Hunter in 1979. She served as a liaison officer at the Board of Studies from 2001 to 2006 before being awarded a NSW Premier’s Teacher Scholarship in 2006, which allowed her to pursue a degree in realistic mathematics education in the UK.
Ann Barry, the assistant principal, has over 57 and a half years of experience working in public schools, 52 of those years spent at Cessnock West. Following a four-year tenure at Muswellbrook South Public School, Ms. Barry received an offer to return to her previous primary school, Cessnock West.
She said that switching from being a student to a teacher at her old school felt strange but exciting and that she has never found a more fulfilling job than teaching.
“To log 50 years or more of service with one organization is an exceptional achievement, but to do it in public education elevates it to the extraordinary,” stated Prue Car, Deputy Premier and Minister of Education and Early Learning.
“We’re incredibly thankful to the Hudson brothers, Kathleen Prudence and Ann Barry for their outstanding service over such a long period of time.”