Amanda Hilton

19th September 2003 at 01:00
Amanda Hilton is the school admin officer at Lowton infant and junior school, near Warrington, Wigan

Her office is the hub of this 100-pupil, five-teacher school, and Amanda is described as its "centrifugal force", knowing everything and keeping the atmosphere happy and calm. She does it all with a friendly manner, caring for the children and supporting staff without fail.

Lianne Alger, one of two newly qualified teachers at the school last year, nominated Amanda for our flowers, champagne and chocolates. "She's answered our questions, filled in the gaps of children's backgrounds, listened to our worries and always sorted them out. She's amazing."

Headteacher Michelle Silcock is "very proud" that Lianne thought to nominate Amanda. "Everyone agrees that Amanda is a delight," she says. "She absolutely lives our mission statement - to provide a caring environment where there is respect, tolerance and high standards. Nothing is too much trouble."

The photograph here was taken on the penultimate day of the summer term - the day when Lianne had a car crash on her way to school. Though not seriously injured, she was bruised and badly shaken up, and her car looked as if it might be a write-off. So our photographer whisked Lynsey Brown, her fellow NQT, into the picture (back row) - she's just as grateful to Amanda as Lianne is.

Both NQTs have started the new term fit and well and with lots of responsibility. Lianne is already the special needs co-ordinator, plus creative arts and geography co-ordinator. Lynsey is numeracy and PE co-ordinator. They'll still be needing a helping hand, then, from the fairy godmother in the office.

Is there an unsung hero in your school? Tell Sarah Bayliss, TESFriday editor, about him or her at the address below. Flowers kindly supplied by Marks amp; Spencer

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