AN inspirational Kennet School teacher has been recognised as one of the best in the country.
Head of IT Mel Poyda was one of 56 teachers nationally to be presented with a prestigious Pearson Teaching Awards.
Mrs Poyda was handed the outstanding use of technology in education award at the school last Tuesday.
The awards celebrate exceptional teaching across the country and recognise the life-changing impact an inspirational teacher can have on their pupils.
Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News at the surprise ceremony, Mrs Poyda said: “The whole thing has been a bit surreal. I’m just doing my job and I love what I do.
“I can’t believe they kept it a secret because I’m so nosy. I’ve got an amazing team and the kids – they’re what you do it for.
“I get so much joy just seeing them start on a subject and get on with it and go on to succeed; that’s what drives you, seeing pupils go on to that success in the subject and sharing your passion. That’s inspiration.”
Mrs Poyda joined Kennet in 2010.
There could be further accolades for her as she has also been put forward as a finalist for one of 11 Gold Plato Awards, the UK’s ‘Oscars for teachers’, in October.
Mrs Poyda has been using Eva, a robot created by Aldebaran, for pupils to see the results of their coding and programming in real-form.
One pupil said that Mrs Poyda “makes you strive to be the best”.
The technology award is sponsored by Google and the company’s head of education for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Liz Sproat, attended the ceremony at the school.
She said: “She’s inspirational. She feels it’s her responsibility to help her students achieve.
“Teachers should be inspiring creative, inquisitive minds.”
Headteacher Paul Dick said: “I’m especially proud of Mel Poyda because she came into teaching the hard way and showed enormous capacity and ambition every minute of every day, but for her pupils and not for herself.
“This award could not be more fitting and I’m confident of gold in the finals.”
The mayor of Thatcham, Ellen Crumly, said: “We are very proud of Kennet School’s excellent exam results and outstanding Ofsted and now we have a nationally-recognised teacher and we wish her all the best for October.”