Big thank you from

Top of the class

Locals shine in Teaching Awards

Classroom assistant Kathryn McMurray of 0akwood lntegrated Primary School with some of the pupils.
	THREE local people have shone at the 2010 Teaching Awards ceremony.

Teachers Gillian McGarry of Wallace High School, Colm McMullan of St Josephs Primary School, Crumlin and classroom assistant Kathryn McMurray of Oakwood Integrated Primary School each received a Plato, the Teaching Awards symbol of excellence in education
They were among 10 teachers and assistants to be honoured with this prestigious award.
The teachers were cheered on by the audience, including pupils, parents and colleagues at The Waterfront Hall.

Caroline Evans, chief executive of the Teaching Awards, said: This is an exciting day for individuals who have been recognised and rewarded. Congratulations to them all and to their schools where the brilliance rubs off. I am delighted to meet the new class of 2010 who are Teaching Awards' ambassadors for education at its best.

Gillian McGarry of Wallace High School.
	Gillian McGarry Winner of The Department for Education Award for Enterprise was nominated by. a student. Judges said: "It is evident that Gillian looks for the best in every pupil and most importantly teaches them to believe in themselves. It was clear that her pupils are taught to visualise high expectations not only for their exam grades but for their careers."

As part of a journalism course, Gillian organised visits to local newspapers and radio stations to inspire students with real experiences and help them understand the practical pressures involved.

Commenting on her award Gillian said: "I'm just sorry that Year 12 student Jonathan Scott, who nominated me, was unable to attend as he was busy sitting his GCSEs. I've taught in Wallace for almost 16 years - it's a second home to me. Our core values of commitment, opportunity, respect and excellence are the touchstones for my classroom practice. I'd like to thank our Principal Mrs Deborah O'Hare for her superb leadership and the entire school community for their support. so many of our past pupils give freely of their time to help inspire our current students and we are very fortunate in Wallace to have such supportive parents nad to be in such a wonderful community."

Colm McMullan of St Josephs Primary School.
	Colm McMullan was the winner of The Royal Air Force Award for Teacher of the Year in a Primary School. Every day begins with a song in Colm McMullan's class. He believes that creating a joyful atmosphere brings children together and prepares them for the day ahead. Colleagues say there is a "buzz" around his classroom. Pupils are happy and his high expectations of them mean that children consistently perform above the national average. A colleague said pupils "know they can achieve because he has given them self belief and build positive self esteem".

Colm said he was humbled to have received his award and thanked the team at St. Joseph's for their support.

Kathryn McMurray won The TDA Award for Teaching Assistant of the Year in Northern Ireland. She is described as a "rock of support" for pupils, staff and the whole school. Her aspirations are for all children to achieve their full potential, not just academically but developing the whole child. As a SEN classroom assistant, Kathryn works with specific children using a range of strategies to help them meet their targets, and guiding them through any difficulties.

Distinctions were also given to Ballymacrickett Primary School and Nursery Unit for The Award for Outstanding School Team of the Year category and to Mrs Sharon Beattie at Dromore Nursery School for The National College Award for Headteacher of the Year in a Primary School category.

Ulster Star