A REMARKABLE octogenarian has been nominated for a school governor award – for being simply the best!

Ray Nichols, the chairman of governors at Almondbury High School and Language College, has been nominated for the Department for Children Families and Schools award in the 2008 Teaching Awards.

Head teacher Janet Tolley said: “I am nominating Ray for one simple reason: there is no one better!”

“He wants young people to lead a happy and useful life, one where they are challenged, feel fulfilled and not necessarily led by material gain.”

Mr Nichols, of Dartmouth Avenue, who battled cancer of the oesophagus two years ago and has also undergone major surgery for an aneurysm, joined the governors at the High School in 1998.

He has been its chairman for the last four.

He has also served for 15 years as a governor at the local junior school and helps youngsters at the infant and nursery school learn to read through its ‘Reading Friends’ scheme.

He is also a local Methodist preacher.

Mr Nichols said he was “very honoured but surprised” by the nomination.

“I first became a governor because I thought my experience in industry and management would be useful.

“I have always been community minded and thought I could make a difference.

“People who take on voluntary jobs should do them to the best of their ability. If you take on a commitment, and then you’re not there, you are letting people down.

“I keep telling them I’m too backendish to do this job, but they don’t want to get rid of me. They can’t find anyone else to do the job.”

Mr Nichols, who lost his wife three years ago, has two sons and four grandchildren.

He worked for 20 years as the works director at Reliance Gears Company.

Keith Hilton, the school’s assistant head teacher, who himself received a lifetime achievement award last year, said: “Ray is a remarkable man, who loves and cares about the people of Almondbury and wider community.

“He always leads from the heart and his heart is with the school and the pupils, always wanting the very best for those in different circumstances.”

The Northern region finals of the awards will be held in Harrogate in June and the finals in London in October.