3000 years’ service to Leeds children honoured at awards ceremony

Jan Alexander, Christine Harrison, Catherine Boyes, Hilary Hirst, Anne- Marie Hill and Paul Lawson, were all recognised for the dedication to educating children for over 30 years at the long service awards.

Staff who educate, care for and work on behalf of children and young people in Leeds were recognised for their dedication at a special awards ceremony last month.

Long Service Awards were presented to over 200 members of staff who have worked within education and children’s services in the city for 25 years and over, at a special ceremony at the Headingley Experience at the Carnegie Stadium on 13 May. These dedicated staff have clocked up a total of nearly 3000 years’ service between them.

All staff will receive an engraved clock and a certificate to recognise their contribution to improving the lives of children and young people in Leeds. Presenting the awards were Councillor Jane Dowson, deputy executive member responsible for children’s services, Nigel Richardson, director of children’s services and deputy director Paul Brennan.

Amongst those receiving their awards were a select few who have clocked up an over 35 years each working with children in Leeds. These dedicated employees were:

Christine Harrison who has worked for over 36 years as a class teacher, with additional responsibilities as Head of RE, prior to retiring last year, including 14 years at Kirkstall Middle school and an amazing 22 years at Bramley St Peter’s primary school.

Catherine Boyes has worked at Westgate Primary School for the past 27 years, after previously working with children in Sheffield and Bradford.

Hilary Hirst started teaching in 1979 at Otley Middle school, more commonly known as the ‘Waltons’ as an newly qualified teacher, she since worked at Clapgate Middle school, St Chad’s C of E Primary and Hawksworth Wood Primary. After 30 years of teaching, Hilary decided to take a step back and continues her service as a supply teacher in Leeds and Bradford, with visits to Seacroft, Manston St James, and Nightingale Primary.

Jan Alexander started teaching at East Garforth Primary in September 1979, she then moved to Spring Bank Primary School where she became deputy head. In 2006 Jan became head teacher at Boston Spa St Mary’s primary.

Councillor Jane Dowson, deputy executive board member responsible for children’s services said:

These talented and hard-working colleagues have made, and continue to make, a real difference to the children and young people of Leeds. It is always fantastic to meet such dedicated people and a pleasure to present them with these well-deserved awards. As a child friendly city we simply could not do this without such exceptional people.

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