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Luisa is UK's Top Teacher

A Rhondda Cynon Taf assistant headteacher is officially the top secondary school teacher in the UK! 

Luisa Martin Thomas, assistant head at Tonypandy Community College, has claimed the National (UK) Pearson Gold Award in the Secondary Teacher category at the annual Teaching Awards, held in London.

Founded in 1998 by Lord Puttnam, the Pearson Teaching Awards are an annual celebration of exceptional teachers, created to recognise the life-changing impact an inspirational teacher can have on the lives of the young people they teach.

Luisa Martin Thomas was among the UK’s teaching elite to be honoured for their inspirational work within the classroom, receiving the Gold Award, the highest accolade of the teaching profession at the Pearson Teaching Awards, which celebrates excellence and commitment to the daily role.

BBC presenter Naga Munchetty hosted the event alongside broadcaster, Sean Fletcher. A host of celebrity award presenters included Olympic rower, Heather Stanning and Strictly Come Dancing head judge, Shirley Ballas.

Cllr Joy Rosser, Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “We are all so proud of this wonderful achievement and congratulate Luisa Martin Thomas on her national success. The award recognises how hard she works, and her dedication to her role, which has now seen her gaining national recognition. 

“We are so fortunate to have a wealth of talent among our teaching staff, in our classrooms all over Rhondda Cynon Taf, and today we all offer our warmest congratulations to Luisa Martin Thomas.” 

Luisa Martin Thomas said: “No words can express how absolutely overjoyed I am to have been recognised in this way and I cannot thank the Pearson Teaching Awards enough for the honour. 

“I have dedicated my life to the teaching profession and remain as enthusiastic about my role today as the first time I stepped into a classroom 16 years ago. 

“Teaching is not just standing behind a desk, its exploring things, adding drama to the learning experience and being dynamic in the classroom. 

“You have to make sure no child is every left behind as you develop their appetite for learning and give yourself 100% to what you believe in. I consider myself fortunate to follow such a rewarding career.” 

At the UK Teaching Awards ceremony, a packed audience heard Luisa Martin Thomas described as being “passionate about supporting the wellbeing of staff and students.”

She was also described as the driving force behind developing Tonypandy Community College into a ‘mindfulness hub’, ensuring that resources are put towards helping provide students and staff with techniques and coping methods for dealing with stress, anxiety and depression. 

Luisa Martin Thomas, who joined the staff at Tonypandy Community College in 2003, was presented with the prestigious award by former pupil Sophie Evans, now a West End and Broadway star. 

President of the Pearson Teaching Awards, award-winning children’s author Michael Morpurgo, said: “Teachers are the quiet heroes. By telling their stories, by highlighting their skill and dedication, we can do some justice to them and to the whole profession.

“Through the Teaching Awards, we hope to enhance the reputation and value of the teachers in our lives, their importance in our society, and thus help to encourage the most talented and committed young people to become teachers.”

Mrs Martin Thomas was a Gold winner in the Secondary Teachers Category after being nominated by Tonypandy Community College Head Boy Liam Tranter and Head Girl Abbie O’Leary.

The UK Teaching Awards are being broadcast as ‘Britain’s Classroom Heroes’ on BBC2 on Sunday, October 29 (6pm). 

Posted on Thursday 26th October 2017