The Star Education Awards: Nominate staff and pupils

Teaching assistant Michelle Godbehere has been hailed an unsung hero for going the extra mile in her job.
Teaching assistant Michelle Godbehere has been hailed an unsung hero for going the extra mile in her job.
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Everyone remembers their favourite school teacher.

That dedicated member of staff who made learning fun, and went the extra mile to share the best way to remember times tables, Tudor history, and all the subjects in between.

Now The Star is asking students and school leaders to let us know about the unsung heroes in classrooms across the county every day.

And it isn’t just teachers who can be recognised in the new Best In Education awards.

From delightful dinner supervisors to friendly lollipop ladies, all staff can be nominated for a Star award.

Even pupils can get in on the act, with prizes for the most improved student, best sports team, and star pupil of the year.

Michelle Godbehere, teaching assistant at Malin Bridge Primary School in Sheffield, was the first person to be entered for the awards when she featured in The Star’s relaunched education supplement Class Act.

As well as her regular duties she helps out at a breakfast club, in the lunch rooms as a dinner lady, and in her spare time even looks after the school’s flock of chickens.

Stephen Betts, headteacher at the school on Dykes Lane in Malin Bridge, said: “Michelle makes such a big difference to Malin Bridge.

“Her dedication and care for everyone in our school community, including those with feathers, makes a real difference!”

Another school hero has also been put forward for the awards.

Neil Sampson is known as ‘Super Sampson’ for doing so much more than the usual duties of a caretaker.

The former carpenter turned caretaker has created school furniture, covered as a lunch time supervisor, and even swapped his mop for headphones to DJ at children’s discos.

Dad Neil also digs in with the pupils’ garden and is known for his cooking at school buffets.

“Neil is one in a million,” said headteacher Patricia Munt.

“He has a great sense of humour, deals with everything in a calm manner, and will do anything to help.

“Neil is our resident DJ at children’s discos and even gives up his lunch breaks to ensure the children have music for our special ‘Dancing Playgrounds’.”

Winners of The Star’s new education awards will be presented with a top award at a glittering ceremony this summer. The event will be at Sheffield’s Holiday Inn in July. Entries must be in by June 7.

Categories include:

* Best lunch person

* Best teaching assistant

* Best headteacher

* Best teacher

* Best green school

* Best sports team

* Most improved student

* Star pupil of the year

* Best nursery award

* Best crossing patrol

* Best secretary or admin assistant

* School of the year.

Nominations must be posted to Best in Education Awards, The Star, York Street, Sheffield, S1 1PU, or emailed to with Star Education Awards in the subject box, by June 7.