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Star Staff Receive Awards at Ceremony
Lecturers and support staff from across the seven Cornwall College sites, including Duchy College and Falmouth Marine School, have been recognised for their achievements at the Staff Star Awards.
The annual event celebrates the outstanding contribution to teaching and learning that staff have made over the last academic year and throughout their careers.
The glitzy awards ceremony, which took place at the Atlantic Hotel in Newquay on 29th June, saw a total of 11 main awards being presented for those in teaching, business support and leadership roles, including a Lifetime Achievement award. Further awards were also presented for long service to the corporation and to individuals who have excelled in specific teaching areas. Winners received an engraved crystal star trophy and certificate. Runners-up were presented with commemorative pens.
Jo Challacombe, Head Animal Technician at Duchy College Stoke Climsland, won the award for Outstanding Improvement through Innovation and Inspiration.
Jo has been characterised by her nominators as the ‘definition of innovation and inspiration’. She has worked tirelessly on the animal management centre improvement plan at Stoke Climsland since joining the College in 2010 with a cheery outlook and a drive to achieve. She has developed a working environment in which students destined to enter the industry can thrive in and is constantly striving to improve the centre and keep up to date with current industry trends.
In a collective nomination, her team said: “Staff and students both enjoy working alongside Jo, no task is ever a chore and her bright and cheerful attitude always brightens up your day. Jo never accepts that you are having a bad day and will always achieve changing your persona usually by doing something ridiculously silly but achieves great results. We consider it a privilege to work with Jo as a member of an excellent hard working team.”
Justin Olosunde, who leads on Environment, Goods and Services training for Cornwall College Business, clinched the award for Outstanding Contribution to Engaging with Employers.
Justin is at the forefront of developing environmental training at Cornwall College, working with countless businesses to meet their training needs and ensuring that the College takes a lead on new technologies education. He has gained the respect of countless colleagues and local businesses who value his strong industry knowledge and outstanding results.
Charis Hadland, from the Work Skills Training Academy at St Austell, won the award for Outstanding Contribution to Skills for Life.
Working with employers in a business area where historically literacy and numeracy levels have been low with very little engagement, Charis has worked with two key employers in Cornwall and Devon to provide tailored provision that fully integrates key skills assignments into job roles so that learners can see the immediate value to participation in the programme.
She has worked hand in hand with the employers to ensure a commitment to Skills for Life for their employees and is particularly strong at communicating the benefits of good literacy and numeracy skills to both employee and employer and embedding this into their programmes. Charis’ work has also led to the first apprenticeship framework in this area of business, a point of differentiation for the College.
Noel Savory, Learner Support Practitioner at Duchy College Rosewarne, claimed the award for Outstanding Contribution to Supporting the Learner.
Noel shows 100 per cent commitment to assisting and supporting a visually impaired learner. Nominators described ‘his care and thoughtfulness for her welfare as second to none, he is always polite, smiling and so completely positive about everything’.
His encouragement and support has allowed the student to grow in confidence, access teaching and learning opportunities and grow in self-belief. He also works as an learning support practitioner to small groups, helps his students to use learning resources to support their learning and is dedicated to providing excellent support.
Tracy Sewell, Office Manager at Falmouth Marine School, won the award for Outstanding Contribution in a Site-Based Business Support Role.
Tracy is described as always remaining calm and able to keep to tight deadlines. She makes it her business to get to know all of the students and staff. She is a very professional person, always calm and level headed. She goes out of her way to be positive and supportive regardless of the problem. She is a team player and does not lose the opportunity to help, encourage motivate and praise her team.
One of Tracy’s many nominators, Dr Claire Eatock, said: “I don’t know a single person – student/staff/public - who does not feel that they have been listened to, given advice and answered any question in a professional manner when they have been dealing with Tracy. She goes out of her way to be positive and supportive regardless of the problem. She is very unusual in that you never feel that the problem is too small or too large – a real skill that is often undervalued.”
Debbie Rossi, Administration Manager for the Work Skills Training Academy and Cornwall College Business in St Austell, achieved the award for Outstanding Contribution in a Corporate Business Support Role.
Nothing is ever too much trouble for this member of staff, if there is a challenge she works to find a solution in a positive way, not dwelling on past problems or issues. She provides excellent customer care by listening before reacting to the situation. She keeps a calm head at all times and is very grounded. She ensures that her team offer the same excellent level of customer care by training and supporting them, giving them the confidence to work with some extremely challenging learners.
The award for Outstanding Site-based Team was presented to the Bloodhound Gang at Cornwall College Camborne who were responsible for organising the visit of the Bloodhound Supersonic Car in March this year.
The team demonstrated an unbelievable coherence and spirit to deliver a truly unique event. The logistics of getting a supersonic car in Camborne’s skills centre, attracting 14 secondary schools to a mass inter-school event plus nearly 1000 members of the general public to open events and guest lectures were significant. Undaunted, staff pulled together and delivered an outstanding event, which generated a unique experience for students and the local community.
The Higher Education (HE) Operations Team who are based on various sites were named the Most Outstanding Corporate Team.
Nominators said that regardless of who you ask, this team know the answer, they work as a team, not as a group of individuals. Their management of the recent review by the Quality Assurance Agency (the Ofsted equivalent for HE) was fundamental in getting an excellent result.
Dr Bryan Mills, Area Manager for HE Business and IT at Camborne, said: “Much of what the HE Operations Team do represents best practice and many teams can learn from and with them.”
The award for Outstanding Leadership went to Ruth Martin, Curriculum Area Manager at Newquay.
Colleagues said that taking on additional roles and responsibility, acting as line manager to most academic staff on the site and filling in while a colleague is away on maternity leave demonstrates extreme organisational skills.
Ruth has developed focus groups to discuss key issues as they arise which has meant that potential problems have been surfaced and dealt with and throughout these challenges she has remained calm, professional and approachable. She has great people management skills and engenders deep levels of respect for her ability to inspire and motivate others as well as being unfailingly cheerful, happy and professional.
The Corporate Management Team Star Award was presented to Miriam Venner, Curriculum Area Manager for Media, Music and Performing Arts at Camborne.
Miriam has led the media team to produce outstanding success rates over a number of years. The media courses were highlighted by Ofsted in 2010 as an area of outstanding practice. She has built a young vibrant team which delivers not only excellent quality but a superb student experience both academically and pastorally. She is committed and dedicated to her students, team and the College consistently working above and beyond her job role.
The most coveted award of the evening, the Life Time Achievement award, was presented to David Sleeman, Automotive Programme Manager at Camborne, who has been with the College for over 40 years.
David has been described as an outstanding, inspirational teacher who really cares about his learners. His many qualities include consistency, enthusiasm, high standards and a depth and breadth of knowledge of his subject which is second to none. He has played a leading role on many key education development bodies, most recently working with the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) to create a new diploma and played an important role in entering the automotive department for IMI Centre of the Year last year.
David commands huge respect from retail garages around Cornwall, working closely with them to train and introduce many new young technicians into the industry, which has helped to raise the profile of the motor vehicle department at Camborne.
Thirteen awards were also presented to outstanding staff in each subject sector area: Health, Public Services & Care - Richie Wilson (St Austell), Science and Maths - Andrew Golley (St Austell), Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care - Jayne Eddy (Rosewarne), Engineering and Manufacturing - Neil Atkinson (St Austell), Construction, Planning and Built Environment - Stephen Maunder (St Austell), Information and Communication Technology - Caroline Friggens and Sue Bayes (Camborne/Newquay/Saltash), Retail and Commercial Enterprise - Sally Marlow (St Austell), Leisure, Travel and Tourism - Sarah Bruce (St Austell), Arts, Media and Publishing - Kay Taylor (St Austell), History, Philosophy, Social Sciences, Languages, Literature and Culture - Roisin Higgins (St Austell), Education and Training - Mike Walker (Camborne), Preparation for Life and Work - Bridget Carter (St Austell), Business, Admin and Law - Sandie Johns (Camborne).
A further 15 long service awards were presented to Rob Lawrence (42 years), David Sleeman (41), Roger Elliott (41), Graham Peak (40), Liz Quantrell (38), John Moulton (38), Chris Sampson (34), John Sekula (34), Tricia Noble (33), Paul Martin (33), Hilary Fedrick (33), Lynn Cocking (33), Ade Marks (30), Mel Hunkin (29) and Fran Tregaskes (25).
The ceremony was presented by Steve Burgess, Cornwall College Human Resources Director, and Sally Butler, Corporate Head of Marketing. Special guests included Andrew Holland from PALL, and Cornwall College Governors Peter Walker, Peter Hardaker, Jenny and Ian Doble, and Joe Vinson (Students’ Union President). Representatives from sponsors included Bridget Stait from exam board Edexcel, Jane Parsons from City & Guilds, Ian Mason from Frontier and some of the Concorde team.
Dave Linnell, Principal of Cornwall College, said: "The Star Awards give staff a chance to show their appreciation to their colleagues, and in some cases students to their lecturers, for going above and beyond in their roles. The evening is a great demonstration of enthusiasm and determination across the many areas of Cornwall College. Congratulations to all of those nominated.”