Today we reveal the three inspirational people shortlisted in the Teacher Of The Year category in the Examiner Community Awards. The winner will be revealed at the awards ceremony at the Galpharm Stadium next Monday.
Tomorrow: Courage Award
HIS energy, enthusiasm and empathy for the children he teaches makes Stan White a charismatic figure.
A former insolvency lawyer in the city, this inspirational teacher has dedicated his life to teaching children with special needs since retraining more than 10 years ago.
Stan has worked at Lowerhouses CE Junior, Infant and Early Years school’s special unit for children with speech and developmental delay since 2005.
The unit, which has places for 12 children, provides support with communication and social skills and general development for nursery age children who may have a recognised condition such as Down’s syndrome or are on the autistic spectrum disorder.
All the pupils have a statement of educational needs.
Three-quarters of children who attend the unit successfully go on to reception classes in mainstream schools.
Stan’s own son, Maxwell Lockwood, now 16, has Downs syndrome and Stan’s experience as the parent of a child with special needs has helped him understand the worries many face.
“It’s enormously rewarding working with children with special needs,’’ he said. “The ability to make a difference to their young lives and see them flourish and thrive is a pleasure.”
One parent said: “My son has blossomed in his time with the school. I cannot put into words the respect and admiration my family has for his teacher.
“Mr White’s energy, innovative approach to teaching, patience and compassion for all of his students is truly admirable. There is no better starting block for our ‘special’ little ones.
“I now feel confident that my son will cope with mainstream education due to the skills Lowerhouses has equipped him with and this is something I would never have envisaged a year ago.”
CHRISTINA Quashie has refused to let her disability stop her from pursuing her love of teaching.
She adores her job as a science teacher at Rawthorpe High School.
“I love to watch others become successful and I try and give them a sense that they can do whatever they want to do,’’ she said. “They are just starting out on a lifelong journey.”
Christina, a teacher for 11 years, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when she was 16, but has never let the condition hold her back.
“It’s just part of who I am,’’ she said. “I have a wonderful support worker at school and use sticks or a wheelchair depending on how I am, but I love my job,”
Christina, 32, studied for her PGCE at Bradford College after working briefly for the NHS and prison service after graduation.
She worked at Scissett Middle School before her secondment to the Netherhall Learning Campus.
Headteacher Joan Young said: “Christina joined us in September when our head of department was seriously ill and she stepped in on secondment to manage the science department.