In commemoration of education month which is celebrated in the month of May, the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports holds an annual event where educators from across the country are celebrated in a National Outstanding Teachers Awards which recognizes individuals for most outstanding teacher and school leader among others.

This year three of Orange Walk very own outstanding educators were awarded, including Teacher Bernadette Codd from Carmelita Government School was bestowed the Outstanding Teacher of the year award at the Preschool Level. Teacher Olivia Mesh from Saint Peters Anglican School won the Outstanding Teacher of the year award at the Special Education Level while Teacher Sergio Cal from Muffles Junior College won the Outstanding Teacher of the year award at the Tertiary Level.

Today when we spoke to District Education Manager for Orange Walk, Karla Alvarez, she told about the immense joy she feels at having three of our very own be recognized.

carlaKarla Alvarez – District Education Manager, Orange Walk

“I feel so proud of our teachers and all of them even those that did not win at the National level because I think that the nominees that we went from our district were indeed outstanding teachers and although only three of them win at the national level I think that they are all winners, there are various categories and we sent for six different categories and we won three so I think we did exceptionally well.”

In order to be selected for the Teacher of the year award, the educators were nominated by their principals and were then evaluated based on a number of criteria at both the district and national levels.

Karla Alvarez – District Education Manager, Orange Walk

“The principals of the schools along with the persons who were nominated fill out the package they need to get recommendations and the persons who were nominated has to sign a consent form so as to give permission and accept that he/she has been nominated and then we receive those packages, the District Education Council then assigns like a subcommittee, a screening committee and then we go through the packages and then we look at the recommendations and based on the recommendations of what we know of the teachers and what they do in the community, what they do for their school, all the extra work that they put and all of that based on that then we make a submission and that is taken to the national level, now at the national level we now have absolutely no control on how and what happens there, there is a committee that sits down and actually visits all the schools and visits these teachers and these school leaders in their environment, they see them when they are teaching, when they are doing their work they interview students, they interview teachers to get a good idea on whether these in fact deserve to be outstanding teachers and leaders.”

Alvarez highlighted the importance of being recognized for awards such as these and would like to encourage all other educators to continue striving for the best as she believes that they all have great potential to be acknowledged at the national level.

Karla Alvarez – District Education Manager, Orange Walk

“We have teachers in our community and in our schools that do not necessarily or shy away from these kinds of awards and sometimes we have to encourage them and tell them you know you deserve to be nominated, you deserve this award and more so I want to encourage more persons that if you are nominated by your principal if are nominated by one of the education officer accept because you could reach as far as these teachers have reached.”

The winners of this year were present at the ceremony where they received monitory contributions and prizes for a job well done.

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