EDUCATION AWARDS: Inspirational pair recognised for reaching their communities
A head teacher having an immediate impact at his primary school and a head of art with a “passion” for creativity were both rewarded for being inspirational.
Nick Newitt, who has set about changing the fortunes of Weston St Mary Primary School since his arrival in September 2015, was named Inspirational Teacher of the Year (Primary).
Judges chose Mr Newitt just ahead of Gemma Richards, of Willoughby School, Bourne, and Gemma Favell, of St Paul’s Community Primary School, Spalding.
Mr Newitt said: “I was quite frankly astonished to have been nominated for this award and I wasn’t expecting to win.
“Anyone who is familiar with my school knows that it’s had a very difficult past and so when I joined as head teacher in September 2015, I started to work on stopping the freefall that the school was undergoing.”
Meanwhile, energetic arts teacher Liz Kelleher took the Inspirational Teacher of the Year (Secondary) Award, for her commitment to making both creative and performing arts accessible to her students and the wider community.
It’s such a privilege to share my passion for art, design and all things creative with so many students, as well as so many people in the community
Mrs Kelleher, head of art at Spalding High School, said: “It was a surprise to be nominated but it’s such a privilege to share my passion for art, design and all things creative with so many students, as well as so many people in the community.
“I’m so appreciative of the many opportunities I’ve been given to do that, with the school’s support, and it’s brilliant to have a captive audience of young minds who want to soak up my passion for arts.
“But it’s also brilliant to meet people in the community and to find out that there are a lot of creative people here.”
Mrs Kelleher accepted her trophy alongside Rachel Capper, a history teacher at The Deepings School, and Dr Peter Marshall, head of physics, who both received finalists’ certificates.
The awards were presented by David Gratton, of Duncan and Toplis Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers, Pinchbeck, who said: “We are delighted to continue our sponsorship of these awards because the future is in the hands of our schools.”