There were tears of joy and cheers all round as a popular teacher accepted a national award in a surprise assembly.
Ceri Hamer, a deputy headteacher at Trumacar Primary School, struggled not to cry as she was presented with the Pearson silver award for Primary Teacher of the Year.
The 44-year-old was taken aback by the news as the whole school and Mayor of Lancaster, coun Roger Mace gathered for the celebratory assembly.
“I am so happy, I am absolutely over the moon, it really is one of the best feelings you could ever imagine,” said Ceri, who also teaches Year 6 pupils.
“This is a message to my pupils, look what you can achieve, you can really get far, no matter how low in life you are.
“This job is really hard but it is the most rewarding job you can do.”
The silver award, which recognises the significant impact of inspirational teachers, was presented on Thank A Teacher Day, on Friday June 16.
The school also saw Sarah Kendall receive an commendation for Teaching Assistant of the Year.
Ceri will be invited to a celebratory tea at the House of Commons on July 13 and is now considered for a Gold Teaching Award in her category which will be announced at the London ceremony on October 22.
Ceri went to Trumacar as a pupil and came full circle when she began her career as deputy headteacher seven years ago.
“I came in at the time when morale was low, low progress, low achievement, low management. But I didn’t come into teaching to win awards, I came to give something back.”
Paul Slater, headteacher at Trumcar, said: “As a result of her diligence and hard work, the school has not only grown in the numbers from 250 to nearly 400, we have moved from a Category 4 school to a Good School (Ofsted 2016) and she is now an acting headteacher whilst I am supporting another school.
“She has a wonderful way with children, especially from our mainly deprived intake, that encourages and nurtures them and instils in them a confidence that they haven’t had in their lives.”
Ceri has lived in the area all her life and met her firefighter husband Steve when they both attended Heysham High School. She left school at 15-years-old with no qualifications and went on to work in the hotel industry.
It was only when she hit the wrong button on a lift at a career fair and ended up on the GCSE floor that she got into teaching.
Ceri said: “I want to thank Paul, this award should go to him. Thank you to the parents, pupils, staff, governors, we are one family.”