The Public School Parent of the Year Award is presented to parents, guardians and caregivers who have made a significant contribution to their local NSW public school community.

Valerie Adams, Islington Public School

Susan Beky, Merrylands High School

Elizabeth Kenyon, Australia Street Infants School

Kathryn McGrath, East Hills Public School

Jack Pelaez, Thomas Acres Public School

Lieu Phan, Lansvale Public School

Jo Smith, Marrickville West Public School

Sharon Warner, North Sydney Boys High School



Valerie Adams, Islington Public School

Mrs Adams has been a continuous contributor to the school and its P&C since 1977.  The school, now a primary reception point for many refugee families, regularly draws upon her local knowledge to support activities at the school.  In her 40 years of service to the school, she has been a mainstay of the P&C acting as treasurer for much of that time, served in the school canteen and participated in many fundraising initiatives.  Mrs Adams’ selfless exceptional dedication to serving the students of Islington Public School, despite being moved to a retirement village 15 kilometres away, makes her both a pillar of the school community and a living treasure.

Susan Beky, Merrylands High School

Mrs Beky has championed the provision of industry links for students, enabling them to receive real world learning opportunities and to enrich their learning experience.  The students at Merrylands High School have had the opportunity to collaborate with Cabrini Aged Care residents.  Students have visited the centre on a weekly basis to teach the residents how to use various forms of technology.  As a result of this experience initiated by Mrs Beky, students receive lessons which cannot be taught from a textbook or syllabus.

Elizabeth Kenyon, Australia Street Infants School

Elizabeth Kenyon has an indpeth knowledge and understanding of the school community as well as a love of and belief in the school.  Elizabeth cultivates positive relationships with teachers, parents and with local businesses, encouraging them to sponsor events and make donations.  By encouraging the community to work together in fundraising, the school maintains a positive and strong community. Elizabeth’s capacity as a fundraiser extends to grants where she has successfully secured funds for projects including a worm farm, water tank, STEAM supplies and garden equipment.

Kathryn McGrath, East Hills Public School

Mrs McGrath became involved in school life in 2014 and has always been happy to assist in any fundraising or school event.  She is a passionate advocate for the school’s support unit and worked closely with the unit to hold the school’s first ever autism awareness day in 2015 to raise funds both for the school and for Aspect Australia.  These events now run annually.  In her role as P&C President she was pivotal in organising a speech therapy program on school premises.  She is highly respected by all within the school and local community for the tireless effort and time she devotes to creating opportunities for the students at East Hills Public School.

Jack Pelaez, Thomas Acres Public School

Mr Peleaz has been an active member of the school community for over 10 years.  He generously gives up his time to support school projects and community events and works shoulder to shoulder with staff to promote a positive and inclusive school environment.  In 2011 Mr Peleaz started using his artistic talent to develop, with teachers, an art therapy program to support students at risk of disengaging.  The program allows students to understand and express their emotions through art, to build resilience and self-esteem.  Mr Peleaz has made a huge difference to so many students at  Thomas Acres Public School and the community is incredibly grateful to him.

Lieu Phan, Lansvale Public School

Mrs Phan is a dedicated and committed long-term member of the Lansvale Public School learning community.  She is an original PaTCH (Parents as Teachers Classroom Helpers) Program graduate and went on to become one of the most sought after and consistent volunteers in the school’s history.  In her role as P&C President she increased parent engagement, raised significant funds to contribute to the school community and implemented initiatives such as a Harmony Day Colour Run to promote multiculturalism and tolerance.  Her support for and sensitivity towards families in need is exemplary and is an extraordinary contributor to the school community.

Jo Smith, Marrickville West Public School

Jo has been an active member of the school community for 7 years.  She has volunteered for almost all parent helper activities including literacy activities, school banking and canteen duty.  She is a regular helper at P&C events including BBQs, festivals, walkathons and performances and has been at each and every Mothers and Father’s Day stall throughout her years at Marrickville West.  Hers is almost always the first name to go on rosters for whatever is happening around the school and her concern for all the families in the school is always apparent.

Sharon Warner, North Sydney Boys High School

Sharon Warner has been a stalwart of the school community since 2009, even before either of her sons started at the school.  She is the Treasurer of Falcon Sport – a parent run after hours sports program and works with the Auxiliary, most recently as its President.  Sharon’s gentle leadership and direction of the parent body was the glue required to galvanise many parents into action to help the school.  She was instrumental in building a heightened sense of community amongst the parent body.