Green ethos wins plaudit

Emotional moment for head as she dedicates eco-awareness Plato to her late husband

Emotional moment for head as she dedicates eco-awareness Plato to her late husband

A headteacher has dedicated a coveted Plato award, won for her school's remarkable eco-friendliness, to her former deputy head - her husband.

Maxine Pittaway, of St Christopher's School in Wrexham, paid tribute to her late husband Christopher at the regional finals of the 2008 Teaching Awards held at Cardiff's City Hall last week.

She said Mr Pittaway, who died last December, had been the inspiration for the school's popular eco-centre.

Filled with emotion on receiving the award, she said: "This is for all our partners in community work, but most of all for him."

The school was nominated by a governor, who praised the devotion of pupils and staff to the environment and world justice. Pupils recycle everything from computers to light tubes, and have even set up their own fair trade shop.

The prestigious award for sustainability was one of 11 given to schools and teachers in Wales.

The Ted Wragg Award for Lifetime Achievement was awarded to Verity Silk, head of the sixth form at Cathays High in Cardiff, who spoke in praise of the Welsh baccalaureate qualification and the shift towards a more skills- based curriculum in Wales.

Natalie Richards, who trained as a teacher while bringing up a young child, won the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust Award for Outstanding New Teacher for her enthusiasm and cross-curricular drama teaching at Bishop Gore Comprehensive School in Swansea.

Debbie Lewis, head of Herbert Thompson Primary in Cardiff, said it was "amazing and humbling" to win a National College for School Leadership award for best primary head.

Winner of the Royal Air Force award for Headteacher of the Year in a Secondary School, Dr Bill Beales, was praised for his leadership of Cwmcarn High School in Newport.

Ten years ago the school had serious financial problems and faced closure, but with Dr Beales's canny budgeting it has made a remarkable recovery.

He regularly holds Saturday surgeries for pupils, parents and teachers. Neil Purcell, winner of the special needs teacher award, was nominated by the parents of one of his pupils at High Street Primary School in Barry.

The overall winners will be announced at the British final, which will be held in a London on October 19.

OTHER WINNERS

Teaching Assistant of the Year

Andrew Davies, Ysgol y Llan, Flintshire

Teacher of the Year in a Primary School

Karen Wathan, Pontlottyn Primary School, Caerphilly

Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School

Sheila Bevins, Cardiff High School, Cardiff

Governor of the Year

Stuart McLester, Monmouth Comprehensive School, Monmouthshire

Welsh Assembly Government Award for the Promotion of the Welsh Language in a School

Carys Lake, Gwynedd Secondary Language Centre, Gwynedd.

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