Huntingdale resident Beverley Pabedinskas was recently recognised for her work with school children at Yale Primary School following the EdConnect Australia annual awards evening earlier this month.
Recently retired Ms Pabedinskas, 66, was handed the School Coordinator of the Year Award on May 2 following 19 years working as a chaplain and being an EdConnect school coordinator for the same amount of time.
Ms Pabedinskas said she was honoured yet surprised to have been recognised for her efforts in servicing and assisting disadvantaged students.
“I’m always so impressed with seeing all of those involved in the programs, especially the mentors, and how they share and educate,” she said.
“Kids love having someone older spend time with them, one on one, to progress and succeed and feel comfortable in their surroundings.
“I feel very honoured to have been given this award, it wasn’t expected at all.”
Although now retired from both her roles Ms Pabedinskas was still active with the EdConnect program and helped where possible but it was assistance done with fewer hours than previously.
EdConnect liaison officer Julie Mullett said it was because of people like Ms Pabedinskas that young people could find stability and consistent influence in their lives and the award was given to her because of her caring personality.
“She goes that extra mile to make sure everyone is cared for,” she said.
“She’ll visit staff members who have been sick and she goes out of her way to help all the new teachers.”
Yale Primary School principal Glen Read said Ms Pabedinskas’ role was to look after the social and emotional welfare of students and staff.
“She does it without even thinking about it, it’s natural for her,” he said.
Ms Pabedinskas has retired knowing she has made a difference in many students’ lives and believed programs like those via EdConnect really assisted those in need.