‘A reflection of our community’s hard work’ – St Joseph’s Brian Cantwell on winning a Catholic Education award

BRIAN Cantwell never wanted to teach at the same school for more than 10 years.

The Catholic Education award recipient recently counted his 27th year at St Joseph’s College Toowoomba.

“St Joseph’s just feels like home”, he said with a laugh.

“I ended up not wanting to leave.”

As technology curriculum leader, Mr Cantwell was nominated for his role in championing equality and fostering connections with staff and students through innovative programmes.

In 2021, he oversaw the Women Who Weld event, supporting girls to explore their trade and engineering passions.

“I was a boilermaker by trade, so I really enjoyed giving our girls this opportunity,” he said.

“Hopefully, it encourages more girls to pursue engineering pathways.”

Big Smiles: Brian and his wife Leigh

Mr Cantwell was also responsible for many student leadership initiatives such as building playground equipment, fixing garden beds, and running rugby league sessions.

“It’s important for students to know not everything happens inside a classroom,” he said

He credited previous deputy principal Dave Klease as an inspiration for his leadership style.

“Sometimes you come across students who don’t want to interact or engage with you,” he said.

He said Mr Klease calmly told them what was wrong, opened a dialogue and treated the students with respect.

“That was inspiring for me, because at the end of the day teachers are there to help,” he said.

While Mr Cantwell said he was honored to win the award, he emphasized it was a “reflection of the whole community’s work”.

“Everyone at St Josephs has done great things and will continue to do great things.”

To read more stories of Catholic Education Week winners, please visit: https://catholiceducationweek.com.au/catholic-education-week-awards/?fbclid=IwAR1q6moVz2KK9fBkwE1WNJZtKSrzOkrGftMOKGULSInwCZgSbkvKE9DR1oo#cewqld2022

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