Danielle Carige, who won the 2017 Down Syndrome Inspirational Teachers Award, with Kingaroy state school student Abbie Laherty and mum Tennille Laherty.
Danielle Carige, who won the 2017 Down Syndrome Inspirational Teachers Award, with Kingaroy state school student Abbie Laherty and mum Tennille Laherty. Jessica McGrath

Award recognising our great teachers

EVERY student at Kingaroy State School knows and looks out for grade four student Abbie Laherty.

They do not recognise her as being different due to her Down Syndrome, but someone who may one day be like a paralympian.

This positive culture is due to the hard work of two teachers, Danielle Carige and Tilleea Hoskins, who were recognised for their work with the student.

Abbie's classroom teachers who taught her in grades two and three co-won the 2017 Down Syndrome Inspirational Teachers Award.

Nominated by mum Tennille Laherty, the Kingaroy teachers were among 10 other schools in the running for the award, but were the only rural school.

"Regardless of a rural area, you can still have the education you would like for your child, that's important to recognise,” Ms Carige said.

Ms Laherty said having teachers who embrace students like Abbie eases fears she had when her daughter was born.

The teachers supported Ms Laherty as a parent, sending work home and cultivating inclusion for Abbie in the classroom.

"At the end of the day Abbie is a thriving young lady with lots of confidence and she really does feel like she belongs,” Ms Laherty said.