Jenni McDonald

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About Jenni

Jenni (or Mrs. Mac as she is known to her young students) has dedicated 27 years of her life to studying and sharing the fine art of engaging children in fun and educational learning.  She has crammed a lot into that time taking on roles in a variety of regional and remote schools across Queensland and the Northern Territory. Roles as varied as being an early childhood teacher in the classroom, visiting Education Advisor for the Cape and Gulf region of Far North Queensland, Literacy Coordinator, Teacher Librarian, Learning Support Teacher, and even a couple of stints as Head of School. She also spent three years as Co-Director of a private early childhood consultancy service in Cairns.

Such dedication to the cause of lifting literacy levels of students in early childhood and primary schools has not gone unnoticed. Jenni has been nominated for several awards, and, in 2007, her significant contribution was acknowledged nationally when she won a prestigious National Excellence in Teaching (NEiTA) Award. An award specifically designed to give communities the opportunity to nominate inspirational teachers who connect with their students and produce exceptional outcomes at a local, state and systems level. On all levels, Jenni certainly fits that bill.

She is also committed to supporting ongoing professional learning having lead many workshops and conference presentations around early childhood and primary school level literacy skills development. Her workshops are renowned for being fun, educational and interactive. They are made even more valuable by the fact that she is still a practising classroom teacher, currently at Freshwater State School in Cairns, ensuring that her skills remain up-to-date, relevant and in touch with the reality of busy, diverse classrooms!

This selection of comments from the parents of her current students backs up how valuable Jenni’s skills are to them. As they will be to you too on joining her Literacy Instruction workshop in November! 

"Jenni is a truly exceptional leader with a gift and passion that inspires and lifts little people to help them reach their potential in many ways."

"Jenni shows my daughter that learning is fun and will go to great lengths to make sure she understands things. My daughter looks forward to going to school to show Jenni what sight words she knows and to share what she did on the weekend. Jenni has made the first six months of my daughter’s school life a dream. She could not have asked for a more patient, approachable, eager, caring teacher."

"Mrs Mac would have to be the most caring and resourceful teacher I have seen in my lifetime. She is approachable and genuinely cares about the literacy, numeracy and creativity skills of each child in her class. My daughter has blossomed in the exciting environment that Mrs Mac has created at Freshwater Primary School."

"I have 7 children .. my youngest is in Jenni’s class this year. Unfortunately it is his last day as we are moving .. my only regret about leaving is that he won’t have Jenni to guide him through his first year of school and set him up for his school life with her amazing love and positive attitude to learning … she is truly an amazing lady and after over 20 years of putting my children through schooling I have never come across a more dedicated caring and loving soul as Jenni."

Workshops and Conference Presentations

  • PRESENTED at the Technology in the Tropics Conference – “Making Maths Memorable” workshop - Cairns
  • PRESENTED Interactive Maths and Maths Analysis workshops for Prep – Yr 7 teachers – Freshwater SS and Cairns Schools
  • PRESENTED Spelling workshops - Freshwater SS
  • PRESENTED ICT workshops - Blue screen room; eBooks; Learning Technologies; Virtual Classrooms – Freshwater SS
  • PRESENTED Reporting, Student Data collection and Analysis workshops – Freshwater SS
  • PRESENTED free workshops for parents on reading and mathematics
  • PRESENTED at the AAMT (Aust Assoc. of Maths Teachers) Conference - Perth
  • PRESENTED “Hands-on Maths” workshops for Prep-Yr 7 teachers – Cairns and surrounding districts
  • PRESENTED at the Early Phase ICT conference - Cairns
  • PRESENTED Prep Learning Profile Digital Software sessions for other schools in the district
  • PRESENTED free workshops for parents on reading, mathematics and behaviour management
  • PRESENTED free workshops for parents on early childhood skills and development
  • PRESENTED two Early Childhood Workshops at State C&K Early Childhood Conference (Cairns)
  • PRESENTED three Parent Workshops - Multiple Intelligences, Reading and Handwriting and Maths skills
  • PRESENTED free workshops for parents on early childhood skills and development
  • PRESENTED over 30 Early Childhood workshops in the areas of Storytelling, Puppetry, Multiple Intelligences, Art, Numeracy, Pre-maths and Music to schools and Childcare Centres across Queensland

  • PRESENTED Free Resource Demonstration workshops for James Cook University Education Students and Early Childhood Association Network members
  • PRESENTED and ORGANISED Year 2 Cluster Moderation for Western Cape College, Kowanyama, Coen and Lockhart schools
  • PRESENTED First Steps Reading and Writing Workshops for Teachers (Weipa)
  • PRESENTED Number Continuum Workshop for Teachers (Weipa)
  • PRESENTED Handwriting Workshop for Parents (Weipa)
  • PRESENTED First Steps Writing Workshop for educators from Weipa, Mapoon and Coen (Weipa)
  • PRESENTED Intellitools workshop at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Symposium (Cairns)
  • PRESENTED THRASS (Teaching Handwriting, Reading and Spelling Skills) workshop for RATEP students and Weipa North teachers – Jessica Point (Weipa)
  • PRESENTED Reading Workshop for Parents – (Napranum)
  • PRESENTED Literacy Development Across the Curriculum Workshop - Townsville Early Childhood Conference
  • PRESENTED Intellitools (Assistive Technology program) Workshop at the National Literacy and Numeracy Week Seminars – Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton
  • PRESENTED Reading Workshop for Parents (Preschool to Year 7) - Weipa
  • PRESENTED Fostering Creativity in Young Children Workshop for Parents and Early Childhood Educators – Weipa
  • CO-PRESENTED Planning for an Effective Early Childhood Curriculum workshop -Thursday Island
  • PRESENTED Developing Literacy and Numeracy Through Music Workshop – Pormpuraaw Early Childhood Conference for parents and teachers


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