At the end of a long school day, Leonita enjoys nothing more than trading in her white board markers for a kitchen apron. She believes that the culinary world is full of possibilities to be discovered and enjoys exploring and mixing different cuisines whilst honouring the dishes of her Filipino heritage. While her creations are slow-roasting and simmering, Leonita relaxes by picking and pruning her vegetable garden.
Like so many, Leonita was first inspired to teach and pursue her passions while still in school. From dissections to scientific investigations, her Year 4 Science teacher taught with an enthusiasm that intrigued and captivated Leonita’s young mind. She then became determined to pursue a career in science. “I still remember doing an experiment where my teacher said that different soil types could determine the colour of a plant’s flowers,” she says. “Although it was a simple experiment, that was the moment I realised that I was really in love with science.”
Now as a Stage 4 and 5 Science and HSC Chemistry teacher, Leonita has experienced firsthand the joy of helping students develop overtime. “Seeing the students not only learn but find inspiration is the best feeling in the world!” she says. “I love watching them grow into mature young adults who strive for excellence and, most importantly, use their gifts and talents both in the classroom and out of it.”
Leonita has a great respect for the importance of education; a process she believes should never end with school. “The greatest thing about being a teacher is that you will never stop learning because every day is an opportunity to learn, each day is an important part in finding your purpose and meaning,” she says. Having completed a Bachelor of Science/Education, Leonita went on to achieve a Certificate IV in Workplace Assessment and Training as well as a Master’s degree.
Leonita takes inspiration from the saying; “Hard times, crises, and trouble come to all – even teachers. It’s not the nature of the crisis, but how we choose to respond to it matters most”. While Leonita has seen her fair share of hard times, she takes courage from teaching. As she often says; “I believe that a classroom is a goldmine, full of precious and unique individuals”.