Corby village school administrator wins national teaching award

A Corby village school administrator has been named the winner of a national teaching awards scheme which honors staff for their outstanding work.

Carolynn Southcombe, administrator at Cottingham C of E Primary School, received the Pearson National Teaching Silver ‘Unsung Hero’ award.

The Pearson National Teaching Awards are an annual celebration of excellence in education, founded in 1998 by Lord Puttnam to recognize the life-changing impacts of inspiring teachers.

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Children from Cottingham C of E Primary School join school trustee Carolynn Southcombe as she receives her Silver Pearson award.

Ashley Scott, Head of Cottingham C of E Primary School, said: ‘Carolynn has been a very special colleague. Not only does she support me, but as the front of the house, she greets parents and visitors with an incredible greeting that is now well known.

“Carolynn is very efficient in her administrative role but goes above and beyond to ensure staff and students in particular are happy. She is highly regarded throughout the Cottingham community and is well deserving of the recognition afforded by the Pearson Award.

Carolynn has worked at the school for 20 years, having served in the RAF for eight years and as a special constable for four years. As a volunteer Scout, she led a colony of Beaver Scouts for a decade.

In addition to using her role to make her school a happy and vibrant place for children, she regularly supports children and their families with anxiety, self-esteem and behavioral issues, and leads the group in “Magnificent Minds” students and takes weekly children’s yoga sessions.

Carolynn has also raised thousands of pounds for the school, having taken part in the London to Brighton walk, the London Marathon and a 100 mile walking challenge. Other charities, including the British Heart Foundation and Breast Cancer UK, have also benefited from her support.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “Congratulations to Carolynn Southcombe on this incredible achievement and the hard work and dedication that went into it. Winning this award is impressive, well deserved and shows commitment of Carolynn to help students realize their full potential.

As the Silver Award winner, Carolynn has now been shortlisted to win one of 16 Gold Awards later this year. Recognition of this achievement will be broadcast on BBC’s ‘The One Show’ as part of a week-long celebration of teaching, which sees famous faces honor the winners each night before the ceremony.

Silver Award winners are also honored as part of the larger national “Teacher Appreciation Day” celebrations, bringing everyone across the country together to celebrate the schools and colleges at the heart of our communities.

Author Michael Morpurgo, Chairman of the Teaching Awards Trust, said: “No matter who we are, school has touched our lives and played a central role in our childhood. School is about much more than learning, and we see that now more than ever. Schools are truly the beating heart of our communities. Everyone who cares for our children in schools should be celebrated loud and clear on Teacher Appreciation Day 2022.”

Martha K. Merrill