"Yet another award for a miner's daughter," a delighted Lynne Sedgmore declared when she heard she had been made a Commander of the British Empire in the New Year's Honours list.
"I am most pleased for my parents," said Ms Sedgmore, who quits as principal of Guildford College, Surrey, in April, to head the new post-16 Centre for Excellence in Leadership.
"Now it makes three of us - all miners' daughters," she said, pointing out that similar honours had in past years gone to her friends and principals Ruth Silver (Lewisham) and Dame Pat Morgan-Webb (New College, Nottingham).
"I said I would accept this honour on behalf of my college - staff and students. It is about what we have achieved collectively," she added.
David Gibson, former chief executive of the Association of Colleges, who also received a CBE, expressed similar sentiments. "The award is about and for the whole of the sector, and I am proud to represent them in what they have done," he said.
This year saw record numbers of honours for the post-16 sector. Bernard O'Connell, principal of Runshaw College in Lancashire, has been knighted, and Peter Lauener, director of learning at the Department for Education and Skills, has been made a Companion of the Order of the Bath .
FURTHEREDUCATION'S NEW YEAR'S HONOURSLIST
Bernard O'Connell, principal and chief executive, Runshaw College, Lancashire.
COMPANIONS OF THE ORDER OF THE BATH
Peter Rene Lauener, director, Learning Delivery and Standards Group, Department for Education and Skills.
Edward John Weeple, former head, Lifelong Learning Group, Scottish Executive.
David William Gibson, former chief executive, Association of Colleges.
Professor Richard Edward Milburn, former professor of community education, University of Strathclyde. Services to community education and young people.
Lynne Sedgmore, principal and chief executive, Guildford College.
John Arthur William Bateman, chief executive, UK Youth and vice-chair of the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services.
Catherine Mary Cole, former principal, Hereward College, Coventry. Services to education for disabled people.
Joyce Connon, Scottish secretary, Workers' Educational Association.
Paul Forbes, director, Department of Training, Leeds City Council. Services to training and employment for disadvantaged groups.
William Grady, principal, Isle of Wight College.
Ian Graham, principal, John Wheatley College, Glasgow.
Vivien Margaret Griffiths, vice-chair, Reading Agency. Services to libraries and lifelong learning in Birmingham.
Jean Horsburgh, assistant chief executive of Connexions. Services to young people in Tyne and Wear.
Mrs Gabrielle Patricia Lobley, lately deputy director, Basic Skills Agency, Hornchurch, Essex.
Raymond Graham Moore, principal, Stoke-on-Trent College. Services to further education.
Professor John Moverley, principal and chief executive, Myerscough College, Preston. Services to further education in Preston, Lancashire.
Richard John Palmer,vice-president, National Council of YMCAs.
Geoffrey Tyler, vice-chair of the corporation, Sussex Downs College.
Roy Whittle, principal, Bolton Sixth Form College and chairman, AAS History Examiners, Assessment and Qualifications Alliance.
Michael Lindsay Branson. Services to people with learning disabilities and to the community of West Sussex.
Mrs Janet Coombs. education manager, HM Prison,Wakefield.
Michael Goodridge, governor, Godalming College, Surrey.
Robert Nicholas Hodges, Connexions personal adviser, Sheffield.
David Sherman, lately community learning manager, Perth and Kinross Council.
Mrs Dawne Angela Laming, senior technician, Sheffield College.
Austin Vaughan Matthews, director, Engineering Education Scheme for Wales.
Mrs Derith Powell, chief executive, Amman Valley Enterprise.
Mrs Elizabeth Jones Stanger, chair, adult education, West Kilbride Community Association.