Cape Town - The Western Cape winners of this year’s National Teaching Awards were announced in Cape Town on Friday.
The ceremony acknowledges and celebrates teachers who have made extraordinary strides within the education sector and towards improving the quality of education for Western Cape pupils.
A total of 10 regional winners were recognised for their achievements in 10 categories, including Excellence in Special Needs Teaching, Excellence in Teaching Natural Sciences and Excellence in Primary School Leadership.
The regional winner of the Excellence in Secondary School Teaching award, Ian le Roux from Emil Weder Secondary in the Overberg, was described by his peers as “going beyond the call of duty to cater for, not only curricula and extra-curricular needs, but also for the social needs of his learners”.
Described as someone who teaches from the heart and not just on pen and paper, Le Roux was acknowledged as a formidable business studies and life orientation subject teacher who employs various learner-centred techniques to cater for the different learning styles of his pupils.
Winner of the Excellence in Secondary School Leadership category, Wendy Horn of Protea Heights Academy in Brackenfell was described as someone who “maintains high standards of performance at the school and ensures that the academic outcomes for the year are met so that learners are prepared for success in tertiary education”.
The Excellence in Special Needs Teaching award went to Hazel Human of Olympia School of Skills, George.
Described as a “young, dedicated and passionate teacher” by her peers, Human has been credited for daring to be different and for her passion towards special needs learners. Human believes that teaching comes from the heart, especially where learners with special needs are concerned.
The prestigious Lifetime Achievement award was awarded to Edna Loxton from Hillcrest Secondary School in Mossel Bay. Loxton started her teaching career in 1984 and has dedicated her life to improving the lives of the marginalised and disadvantaged learners of her community.
Addressing dignitaries, nominees and guests at the awards ceremony, Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said it was a great time to be celebrating winners, “as we bask in the afterglow of South Africa’s success in the Rugby World Cup last weekend”.
“We received no less than 247 nominations for teaching awards this year. Our districts, through cluster adjudication, nominated 47 cluster winners for adjudication for the provincial awards.
“While celebrating all of the teachers considered for these awards, we know that you represent the tip of the iceberg. We know that the vast majority of around 33000 teachers out there are giving their best to serve the interests of every child in every classroom,” Schäfer said.
The full list of winners include:
* Excellence in Primary School Teaching: Eugenia Paulo-Goagoses, Masiphathisane Primary School, Ongegund, Vredenburg.
* Excellence in Secondary School Teaching: Ian le Roux, Emil Weder Secondary School, Genadendal.
* Excellence in Grade R Teaching: Michelle Swart, Hermanus Pre-Primary School, Hermanus.
* Excellence in Special Needs Teaching: Hazel Human, Olympia School of Skills, George.
* Excellence in Teaching Natural Sciences, Danielle van Eck, Protea Heights Academy, Brackenfell.