Published: 12:15, 19 October 2020
| Updated: 12:16, 19 October 2020
The best teachers, support staff and volunteers the county has to offer were celebrated at the Kent Teacher of the Year Awards 2020 on Friday (October 16).
Now in its 20th year the awards event, which was due to take place at Ashford International Hotel in May, was instead streamed online by the event’s organiser – children’s wellbeing charity the KM Charity Team.
Viewers tuning in to the charity’s Facebook page watched tuxedoed CEO Mike Ward announce 50 district award-winners from across Kent and Medway.
Of these, just 21 were crowned top in the county.
Among the messages of support was a video from best-selling children’s author and star of Britain’s Got Talent David Walliams.
Bedecked as Her Majesty the Queen in suitably glamorous surroundings he said: “Hello I am your queen. Not really, I’m David Walliams and I’d like to say a massive congratulations to all the Teacher of the Year winners and to those of you who have been nominated. Thank you all for the fantastic work you do.
“I’d also like to extend this to all teachers and people who work in education. You have been truly amazing in this difficult time.
“Now I’m sure there are so many deserving winners out there and I would press my golden buzzer for all of you. So don’t forget to nominate these heroes for next year’s KM Charity Team Teacher of the Year Awards at www.KMCharityTeam.co.uk . Thank you.”
The virtual celebration also featured videos and photographs of winners receiving their accolades along with congratulatory messages from members of the awards’ judging panel.
The overall champions were:
• Kent Teaching Assistant of the Year: Anya Winter, Hoo St Werburgh Primary School and Marlborough Centre in Rochester
• Kent Wellbeing Champion of the Year: Marion Hayes, Cedar Children’s Academy, Strood
• Kent FE College Academic Support Staff Member of the Year: Daryl Ansell, Broadstairs College
• Kent School Volunteer of the Year: Rachel Rowland, Ryarsh Primary School, Tunbridge Wells
• Kent School Business Manager of the Year: Leanda Arnold, Barnsole Primary School, Gillingham
• Kent Midday Supervisor of the Year: Linda Gardner, Hempstead Junior School, Gillingham
• Kent Secretary of the Year: Michelle Keleher, St Simon’s RC Primary School, Ashford
• Kent Sports Teacher of the Year: Wendy Ball, Greenfields Community Primary School, Maidstone
• Kent FE Technical/Vocational Teacher of the Year: Gareth Oliver, Broadstairs College
• Kent IT Champion of the Year: Tim Jackson, Broadstairs College
• Kent Caretaker of the Year: Rob Moon, Bridge and Patrixbourne CEP School, Canterbury
• Kent Literacy Team of the Year: English Department, New Line Learning Academy, Maidstone
• Kent Maths Teacher of the Year: Kirsty Gaythwaite, Goodwin Academy, Dover
• Kent Trainee Teacher of the Year: Amara Thompson, Oasis Academy Skinner Street, Gillingham
• Kent NQT of the Year: Dan Roberts, Challock Primary School, Ashford
• Kent Higher Education Teacher of the Year: Paul Glidewell, Sheppey College, Swale
• Kent Science Teacher of the Year: Claire Fletcher, Dartford Science and Technology College
• Kent Team of the Year: Kathy Prebble and Decaf Team, Valley Park Community School, Maidstone
• Kent Primary School Teacher of the Year: Monika Theodosiou, The Wyvern School, Ashford
• Kent Secondary School Teacher of the Year: Kate Hayes Watkins, Goodwin Academy, Dover
• Kent Head Teacher of the Year: Gerry D’cruz, Ashford Oaks Primary School
Nominations opened in January and 850 entries were sent by students, parents and colleagues praising individuals from schools and colleges countywide.
The awards were supported by Kent Further Education, University of Kent, Kreston Reeves, The Education People, Kape HR, Thinking Schools Academy Trust, KCS, Canterbury Christ Church University, Loop CR Ltd, University of Greenwich, Specialised Sports Products, Diggerland, Salus, Streetspace, Three R’s Teacher Recruitment and Ashford International Hotel.
Kent Teacher of the Year Awards 2021 will open to nominations soon at www.KentTeacherOfTheYear.co.uk Any businesses interested in getting involved should contact Mike Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07925 434871.
This year’s virtual event is available to view at any time via its Facebook event page, as is sister event the London awards which streamed on Friday, October 9. Awards celebrating Sussex educators will be available from 6pm on Wednesday, October 28.
All are welcome to watch and share messages of support on social media.