Kevin Hirst is the reprographics technician at Greenhead sixth-form college in Huddersfield.
Greenhead is one of the top performing sixth-form colleges in the country by exam results, but it's also one of the nicest places to work, according to staff. So its "beacon" status is justly deserved. "This is the best job I've ever had," wrote Kevin in the college newsletter soon after arriving there around six years ago, having trained as an electrician and worked in various jobs.
His connections with the newsletter have grown; he takes photos for it, of visitors, new staff members and buildings-in-progress, all efficiently labelled and to deadline, according to the editor, English teacher Liz Robison, who nominated him for our flowers, champagne and chocolates.
"He is cheerful, willing, eager and enthusiastic. Nothing is too much trouble, but he also knows how to be assertive in a sensible and mutually supportive way." She says he is brilliant at showing lecturers how to use the equipment he's responsible for and, with his assistant Margaret, will search out whatever resources they need for teaching effectively. Liz will be retiring soon and wants Kevin to know how much he is appreciated. His "domain", where equipment is stored and materials recorded and reproduced, is a friendly place and good for a chat. (He's also had a water cooler installed.) "Many a Greek island recommendation has passed between Kevin and me," says Liz.
She says a new colleague said recently that Greenhead college couldn't be a bad place to work since "the principal talks to you, the caretaker whistles and the technician smiles". Liz has never seen Kevin anything but "smiling, courteous and helpful".
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