Published: 08/09/2017 07:30 - Updated: 08/09/2017 07:32

Help us find inspirational secondary teacher for Highland Heroes award


Jennifer MacKenzie: 'Teachers nurture their students in many ways.'
Jennifer MacKenzie: 'Teachers nurture their students in many ways.'


INSPIRATIONAL teachers go out of their way to provide support, guidance and encouragement to ensure our children are equipped to achieve their full potential at school and in the world of work.

With its own record of excellence in education, TEFL Org UK understands how these qualities can have a positive lifelong impact. The Inverness-based organisation has itself inspired countless young people in its role as the UK’s largest and most accredited Teaching English as a Foreign Language course provider.

Fittingly, TEFL Org UK is supporting to the first Highland Heroes Awards through sponsorship of the Secondary Teacher of the Year category.

The awards, organised by Scottish Provincial Press (SPP), will recognise individuals from all walks of life throughout the Highlands who go beyond the call of duty to make a lasting difference to their communities.

Jennifer MacKenzie, managing director of TEFL Org UK, said: “We’re delighted here at TEFL Org UK to be supporting the Secondary Teacher of the Year category in the inaugural Highland Heroes Awards.

“TEFL Org UK trains teachers from all over the Highlands on our courses each year. These teachers choose to complete a course either over a weekend or online, in their own time, because they are dedicated to helping students who have come from other parts of the world to perform to the best of their ability.

“Teachers support, develop and nurture their students in many ways, though, not just by taking courses with us! They take extracurricular activities to allow pursuits like hockey and drama to be taken at school, and they work hard to support students – our children – through difficult times.

“Whether educational or personal, teachers are there for students – they deal with worried parents, spend hours planning lessons to engage and educate our children, they travel with children and take responsibility for their welfare and safety, they engage and enthuse them in new topics and projects... the list is endless as to how secondary teachers can inspire and transform the lives of their students, our children.

“I think everyone leaves school with at least one teacher that they will always remember – and, if they’re lucky, several who inspired them to do better and be better. We have great teachers here in the Highlands, and as an ex-Dingwall Academy and Lochaber High School pupil I know just how great and inspiring our teachers can be.

“I would like to wish the best of luck to all the teachers who are nominated for this great new award.

Providing online, classroom and combined course options, TEFL Org UK offers the perfect opportunity for anyone to travel and explore new cultures while gaining valuable skills and experience in a paid teaching role, from Central and South America to South East Asia and everywhere in between.

Readers of five weekly newspapers published by SPP are being invited to nominate their local heroes in 12 categories, and entries have been coming in from all over the north.

The deadline for entries in the 2017 Highland Heroes Awards is Monday, September 11.

A judging panel will draw up a shortlist of three nominees in each category, and a special supplement in early October will give details of how readers can vote for their favourites.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in the Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness, on Thursday, November 9.

Nominate in any category via the form in the Ross-shire Journal of using this link:

Businesses interested in supporting the awards are invited to contact Sarah Mackay on

* Nominations have been flooding in from across the region for the first Highland Heroes Awards.

Readers have been eager to put forward the names of people in their communities whose caring attitude, selfless actions and generosity of spirit serve as an inspiration to us all.

With the September 11 deadline for entries drawing near, a plea has gone out for as many more nominees as possible to ensure that due recognition is given to the most deserving local heroes.

The awards are being run across five weekly newspapers published by Scottish Provincial Press (SPP) in association with a number of generous sponsors.

SPP’s editorial director David Bourn said: “It has been heartwarming and uplifting to see so many entries coming in from readers who want to help us honour the men, women and young people who go the extra mile to make a real and lasting difference to our communities.

“The awards consist of 12 categories, from Volunteer of the Year and Charity Fundraiser of the Year to Good Neighbour of the Year and Classroom Assistant of the Year.

“If you know anyone who you feel would be a worthy contender for any of our awards, please take a few moments to fill in a nomination before Monday’s deadline so that together we can celebrate the outstanding contribution made by these inspirational individuals.”

See this week's Ross-shire Journal for nomination form with entry details and full list of award categories and sponsors.

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