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.
“She is a really important member of staff and has an excellent relationship with the children. She also has some fantastic ideas for lessons.
“Christina copes really well with her illness and has had no time off. She is so determined to lead a normal life.
“She uses a wheelchair and where she is teaching is up two flights of stairs. Being an old building it is not the most wheelchair-friendly, but it has no effect on her at all she just carries on. She is inspirational.”
ANNA Mantle has been at the forefront of fundraising for Children In Need and the pupils at Newsome High School and Sports College think she’s great.
Anna was nominated for the award by year seven pupil Samah Ahmad.
Samah said: “Miss Mantle was in charge of helping to raise over £1,200 for Comic Relief this year.
“She held meetings every Thursday in the months running up to the day. She helped us organise lots of activities and even let the students bring in their own homemade buns and allowed one of them to come into school on a horse!
“She helped organise a non uniform day and decided we should do lots of different events to raise money like a Miss World competition and staff dodge ball.
“She decided that rather than doing this all in one day it should be done over a week to help make as much money as possible.
“She works really hard in school and we love her.”
Anna has worked at the school for two years teaching religious education and history after five years working in Surrey where she trained.
“Every day is different in teaching which I love,’’ she said. “It’s one big community here at Newsome with a fantastic support network. “Everyone helps everyone else.
“I’ve settled in here really quickly and that’s all due to the children and teaching staff. It is great to be teaching at a school that is going from strength to strength.”
STAFFLEX is Huddersfield’s leading independent recruitment company and is delighted to sponsor the award for Teacher of the Year for the third time.
Stafflex provide and promote the use of temporary engineering, industrial and commercial staff to local industry. In these uncertain
times, Stafflex believes that the use of temporary skilled and unskilled labour can take the heat out of human resource problems by providing a flexible, fit-for-purpose workforce when needed for as long as required.
In particular, the education division of Stafflex is proud to be a provider of supply teachers and support staff to local schools and colleges. Stafflex provides a personal service to schools and staff alike and will always go the extra mile to put the right teacher in the right placement.
The 24/7 hotline 01484 351010 is always available for emergency placements. We at Stafflex have nothing but admiration for the skill and commitment prevalent throughout Kirklees schools and consider ourselves privileged to be able to deal positively with such consummate professionals on a daily basis.
We can’t wait to meet the Teacher of the Year.