A WEARSIDE teaching assistant has scooped a top prize.
Kelly MacKenzie, who works at Sandhill View School, has been awarded The Jenny Ellis Award for the Outstanding Higher Level Teaching Assistant, HLTA, in the North East 2013-14.
The Jenny Ellis Award was introduced in 2010 by Carnegie Leaders in Learning, based at Leeds Metropolitan University.
It commemorates the sudden and tragic death in 2009 of a much loved and respected colleague, Jenny Ellis, who worked for Sunderland Local Authority.
Jenny worked tirelessly to raise the profile of HLTAs within Sunderland, and to ensure their work in schools was instrumental in making a difference for children and young people.
As the awards for HLTAs were established in 2004, this year’s awards event celebrated 10 years of excellence in learning support.
HLTAs from across the region are nominated by school colleagues for their excellence in advancing the learning of pupils, working effectively as part of the school community and bringing expertise to the staff team.
Awards were presented to HLTAs from the three regions of the North of England: North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber, at a celebration event at the Headingley Carnegie Stadium.
Shortlisted HLTAs, their guests and a senior representative of their school attended the ceremonies.
The Jenny Ellis Award was presented to Kelly, who works at the Grindon Lane School, in Sunderland, by Helen Whitrod Brown, associate dean of the Carnegie Faculty at Leeds Met.
She said: “I was delighted to be asked to present this year’s awards for Outstanding HLTA and hear from those attending the event about the incredible contribution they make to their schools.
“HLTAs are inspirational, not just for the children they work with and their colleagues in school, but also for those young people who are training to be teachers.”