Catholic Education Parramatta's Dr John DeCourcy named 2012 Br John Taylor Award winner


Originally published by Catholic Education, Diocese of Parramatta

Dr John DeCourcy
Dr John DeCourcy.

Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, Bishop of Parramatta and Chairman of the NSW Catholic Education Commission, has announced the 2012 Brother John Taylor Award has been won by Dr John DeCourcy, Director of Strategic Accountabilities Services from Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta.

This prestigious award is conferred annually in honour of Br John Taylor cfc who was the Executive Director of the NSW Catholic Education Commission from 1984 until his death in 1993. He was recognised as a pioneer in Catholic education and had a strong influence on science teaching in Catholic schools and on curriculum in general. In particular, he played an important role in the development of a method to help analyse and understand their HSC data. The Br John Taylor Award is presented to an individual who makes a significant contribution to Catholic education in NSW through the way his or her work has benefited the Catholic education community, facilitated the work of others in their professional roles, and strengthened the ethos of Catholic education.

"It gives me great pleasure to announce the 2012 Br John Taylor recipient, Dr John DeCourcy from the Diocese of Parramatta," Bishop Anthony said. "John is an outstanding example of a person of deep Catholic faith and exemplary professional practice in school leadership. The academic and intellectual rigour he brings to his significant work in data analysis is to be highly commended."

John’s groundbreaking work in Higher School Certificate (HSC) Data Analysis has had a profound influence for the Catholic and government sector. His work has made a fundamental change to the understanding of student performance, student achievement and teacher practice, gaining national and international recognition for its quality and contribution to learning and teaching in Catholic secondary schools.

Executive Director of Schools in the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta, Greg Whitby, who put forward the nomination, said John is a deserving recipient of this significant award.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to recognise not only John’s contribution to schooling, but his leadership in the core area of assessing accountability and the provision of quality data to enhance the professional knowledge base of educators," Greg said. "He is held in high esteem by his colleagues and is recognised for his significant contribution to Catholic schooling over many decades."

The nomination was endorsed by the directors of Catholic Education and Schools Offices in the Dioceses of Bathurst, Broken Bay, Maitland-Newcastle and the Archdiocese of Sydney.

John said he was surprised and humbled by the recognition.

"I am passionate about giving principals tools that they can use insightfully to build the professional capital of their staff," John. "I am very grateful for this award but that is not the main game, we are a profession and we need to take notice of the data on the effectiveness of what we do, to learn from that so that we can help students learn better, that is the main game."

Dr John DeCourcy is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators and a Fellow of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders. He has held leadership positions in Catholic education for more than 25 years, serving as Principal of Holy Family High School and St Andrew’s College, Marayong. He has had a long, distinguished and successful career in Catholic Education bringing 41 years of experience in education to his role.

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