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Award for teachers who go above and beyond


By Features Reporter


If it was up to Alicia Socas, every teacher in the Highlands would be on the list to receive a Highland Heroes award.

“I genuinely think that teachers are under-appreciated,” the director of training firm Pitman Training Highland said.

Alicia Socas, director of Pitman Training Highland. Picture: Gary Anthony/SPP
Alicia Socas, director of Pitman Training Highland. Picture: Gary Anthony/SPP

“It’s just nice sometimes for somebody to turn round and say, ‘you know what, you’re doing a really fantastic job’ and I want to be part of that effort.” Miss Socas decided to get behind the awards, run by SPP Media and now in their third year, by sponsoring the secondary teacher of the year category.

She said: “The actual job that teachers do is over and above what is asked of most of us and, if they are managing to consistently support parents and students, particularly if those students are from an economically-deprived area, I don’t think over and above should be the standard.

“The fact that they are doing a good job in a difficult environment should be enough to be recognised.

“I know that it’s completely unreasonable to have 3000 teachers on the list – we can only pick one – but I want to be part of that movement that thanks people, like doctors and teachers and nurses, for keeping our society going.”

But it is not just secondary teachers that go beyond normal expectations to make a significant difference to the learning experience of their pupils.

Primary teachers also deserve recognition, which is why there is also a primary teacher of the year category, sponsored by Springfield Properties.

Springfield Properties chief executive Innes Smith. Picture: Nick Mailer Photography
Springfield Properties chief executive Innes Smith. Picture: Nick Mailer Photography

Springfield chief executive, Innes Smith, said: “The Highland Hero Awards celebrates the people who shape and make our community – like primary school teachers.

“Primary school teachers educate our children, inspire them and play a huge part in our community.

"We want to help give them the recognition they deserve.” Mr Smith added: “At Springfield, a large part of our ethos is celebrating our staff and it’s equally important we recognise people who make a positive difference within our community."

To nominate someone for primary or secondary teacher of the year, or any of the 14 categories at this year’s Highland Heroes Awards, fill in and return the form below or you can also apply online.

The deadline for nominations is midnight on Saturday, August 31.

A judging panel will draw up a shortlist in each of the categories before readers are given the opportunity to vote for their favourites.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness on Thursday, November 7.



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