Kent Teacher of the Year Awards 2020

Gerry D’cruz of Ashford Oaks Primary School was named Kent Head Teacher of the Year.

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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 Kent and Medway (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 mward@thekmgroup.co.uk or on 07925 434871.

This year’s virtual event is available to view at any time via its Facebook event page here, 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 using the hashtags #KentTeacherOfTheYear and #KTOTY.

Find out about the KM Charity Team’s green travel and literacy programmes for schools at www.KMCharityTeam.co.uk

Follow the charity’s latest updates on social media via the handle @InspireSchools1 on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Kent Teacher of the Year Awards 2020 – Full list of district winners

Ashford: Early Years Foundation Stage Leader of the Year – Susie Winchester of Brabourne CEP School; Support Staff of the Year – Michelle Keleher of St Simon’s RC Primary School; NQT of the Year – Dan Roberts of Challock Primary School; Head Teacher of the Year – Gerry D’cruz of Ashford Oaks Primary School; Primary School Teacher of the Year – Monika Theodosiou of The Wyvern School; Teaching Assistant of the Year – David Ramzan, The Wyvern School.

Canterbury: Support Staff of the Year – Rob Moon of Bridge and Patrixbourne CEP School; School Volunteer of the Year – Richard Field of The Canterbury Academy; Primary School Teacher of the Year – Angela Taylor of Canterbury Primary School.

Dartford & Gravesham: Science Teacher of the Year – Claire Fletcher of Dartford Science and Technology College; FE College Academic Support Staff Member of the Year – Debbie Simms of North Kent College, Dartford; Secondary School Teacher of the Year – Stephen Sage of Wilmington Grammar School for Boys, Dartford; Support Staff of the Year – Donna Martin of Wilmington Grammar School for Girls, Dartford.

Dover: Support Staff of the Year – Debs Harrison of Dover Christ Church Academy; Secondary School Teacher of the Year – Charley Davis of Dover Christ Church Academy; Drama Teacher of the Year – Kate Hayes Watkins of Goodwin Academy; Maths Teacher of the Year – Kirsty Gaythwaite of Goodwin Academy; Wellbeing Champion of the Year – Ali Carnt, Sir Roger Manwood’s School.

Maidstone: NQT of the Year – Natalie Burgess of Cornwallis Academy; Secondary School Teacher of the Year – Andy Lee of Cornwallis Academy; Sports Teacher of the Year – Wendy Ball of Greenfields Community Primary School; Maths Teacher of the Year – Claire Randall of Headcorn Primary School; IT Champion of the Year – Lizzie Fenson of Invicta Grammar School; Literacy Team of the Year – English Department of New Line Learning Academy; Team of the Year – Kathy Prebble and Decaf Team of Valley Park Community School.

Medway: Primary School Teacher of the Year – Dom Bilton of The Academy of Cuxton Schools, Rochester; School Business Manager/Bursar of the Year – Leanda Arnold of Barnsole Primary School, Gillingham; Support Staff of the Year – Tina Pincott of Bradfields Academy (Fortis Trust), Chatham; Sports Teacher of the Year – Rachael Stewart of Brompton Westbrook Primary School, Gillingham; Wellbeing Champion of the Year – Marion Hayes of Cedar Children’s Academy, Strood; Midday Supervisor of the Year – Linda Gardner of Hempstead Junior School, Gillingham; Teaching Assistant of the Year – Anya Winter of Hoo St Werburgh Primary School and Marlborough Centre, Rochester; Support Staff of the Year – Karen Watkin of Rivermead Inclusive Trust, Gillingham; Secondary School Teacher of the Year – Carley Dawkins of The Victory Academy, Chatham; Head Teacher of the Year – Louise Hardie of Warren Wood Primary Academy, Rochester; FE Technical/Vocational Teacher of the Year – Babs Jossi of Mid Kent College, Gillingham; Trainee Teacher of the Year – Amara Thompson of Oasis Academy Skinner Street, Gillingham.

Folkestone and Hythe: Secondary School Teacher of the Year – Hannah Turner of Folkestone Academy; Support Staff of the Year – Emma Shipley of Harvey Grammar School, Folkestone; Team of the Year – Turnaround Centre of Marsh Academy, New Romney; Primary School Teacher of the Year – James Burrows of Saltwood CE Primary School, Saltwood.

Swale: School Business Manager/Bursar of the Year – Alison Abery ofQueenborough School and Nursery, Sheppey; Higher Education Teacher of the Year – Paul Glidewell of Sheppey College; Literacy Teacher of the Year – January Lorman of The Sittingbourne School.

Thanet: FE College Academic Support Staff Member of the Year – Daryl Ansell of Broadstairs College; FE Technical/Vocational Teacher of the Year – Gareth Oliver of Broadstairs College; IT Champion of the Year – Tim Jackson of Broadstairs College; Support Staff of the Year – Doug Knight of Cliftonville Primary School, Margate.

West Kent: School Volunteer of the Year – Rachel Rowland of Ryarsh Primary School, Tunbridge Wells; Higher Education Teacher of the Year – Will Hughes of Hadlow College, Tonbridge.

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