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Community & Business

5 November, 2020

Sellers recognised for 26 year commitment to school

Ex-Mareeba State High School Teacher John Sellars was recently recognised for his commitment to education and his former school, being the 2020 recipient of the Mareeba Medal

By Rhys Thomas

RECOGNITION: John Sellars has been recognised for his 26 years of teaching at Mareeba State High School being presented with the Mareeba Medal

EVERY year one teacher from Mareeba State High School (MSHS) receives the Mareeba Medal. 

The prestigious medal is a token of appreciation to a teacher to recognise the hard and thankless work they do each and every day. 

This year’s recipient was former teacher, John Sellars, who was an integral part of the school for 26 years. 

John was working at MSHS right up to the start of this year, but due to mental health concerns it was time for a change of pace and he decided to make the move to Cairns Distance Education. 

After initially studying to become a surveyor and working in the field on the Sunshine Coast, a lack of jobs forced a career change. 

Lyndell Bridges, John’s girlfriend who would later become Mrs Sellars was currently moving into the teaching field and so John had decided to pursue teaching so that they could be together. 

1989 was the start of John’s teaching career with him and Lyndell both starting their teaching at Dimbulah State School. 

“Teaching at Dimbulah State School was a really rewarding experience as a pair of new teachers who were willing to work hard and get involved in the community,” John said. 

“From that experience the rewards were immense; we lived in the community for seven years and developed lifelong friendships. 

“A lot of the students I taught at Dimbulah have gone on to have kids which I have then taught at Mareeba.” 

John made the move to MSHS in 1994 to move to a bigger town with bigger opportunities without losing the touch he had developed with the community. 

Spending the majority of his teaching years at MSHS, John was involved in a lot of other activities and programs outside of class including the annual musical performances, presentation nights and sporting events. 

MSHS Principal Scott Whybird presented John with his medal as a surprise at his new job at Cairns Distance Education, a surprise which John was extremely honoured by.

“I feel very proud and humbled to be honoured like this, I have the medal here sitting on my desk at school,” he said. 

“This medal also recognises the involvement and the extra effort that you put into the school. 

“Teaching has been extremely rewarding in the fact that you are developing new relationships and working on new challenges every day.” 

When describing John, Mr Whybird said that many of the school events from presentation nights to sporting events would not have run as smoothly if not for John. 

“John has got everything that you would expect from someone who is committed to a school and has been a quiet achiever,” he said. 

“He doesn’t go looking for the limelight, but he is always involved behind the scenes.

“He is always the person who takes the time to help staff to be better at their jobs and make them feel better without ever asking anything for himself.”


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