A POPULAR Saddleworth School music teacher says it is a “real surprise and a great honour” to be named ‘Teacher of the Year’ at the Oldham Education Awards.
Mr Garrath Beckwith, head of music at the school, received the accolade for his contribution to teaching, while Kerensa O’Reilly from Waterhead Academy received the female equivalent.
Mr Beckwith was presented with his certificate by Mayor of Oldham Cllr Derek Heffernan, from Austerlands, in front of 400 people at a glittering event at Oldham’s Eastern Pavilion.
He said afterwards: “It was a real surprise and a great honour to be nominated for an award that highlights my contribution to teaching at Saddleworth School.
“To be shortlisted and to win was a great honour and a very humbling experience. I would like to say a huge thank you for all the lovely messages I have received – I really am just doing my job.
“I attended Saddleworth School as a student and it is wonderful to now teach at the school and be in charge of the musical future – I am a very lucky man.
“It is a daily privilege to work with the fine young musicians we have and it will always be my goal to provide high quality, professional, exciting and engaging musical opportunities.
“We are currently in discussion with this year’s visiting artists and also have a series of further exciting professional links to bring in the not too distant future that will enable our musicians to take their musicianship to the next level.”
The Awards, now in their fifth year, also celebrated pupils from across the borough and this year saw 50 nominees collect awards for attainment at GCSE, A level, vocational and degree level.
There were special achievement awards for Saddleworth School pupils Ira Wall (7 A*, 3 A, 1 B), Philippa Hall (10 A*s, 2 A’s) and Tobias Green (4A*, 6A, 1B, 1C).
Meanwhile, a special honour was given to North Chadderton School, who won the Business Enterprise Award, sponsored by Oldham Enterprise Trust.
The awards were hosted by former Oldham Chronicle Business Editor Martyn Torr and supported by the Mayor of Oldham along with Deputy Leader of Oldham Council Councillor Abdul Jabbar.
The Awards are organised by One Community UK to bring the community together to celebrate the exam results of students and boost educational aspirations.