There is no more worthy job than passing on the gift of knowledge.
The two finalists shortlisted for our Inspirational Educator of the Year award (sponsored by Messy Play NI) have helped and motivated many people.
Our first nominee is Sandra Flynn, principal of Lisanally Special School in Armagh, who has been nominated by parent Ann Montgomery.
She wrote: “Lisanally school holds a very special place in my heart. My daughter has been attending the school from Class one, aged five. She is now 15 and the transformation of this child is unbelievable.
“She has progressed greatly throughout her time there and this is all down to Sandra and the excellent management of all her staff.
“Sandra is dedicated to the needs of each and every child in the school and as a parent her door remains open at all times.”
She said her daughter suffers from severe epilepsy and needs a different eating regime and monitoring of her bloods and ketones on a regular basis throughout the day and that Sandra and staff had undergone training to care for her.
“Sandra is simply the best and I would love her to win,” added Ann.
Martin Rafferty, owner of MD Rafferty music school in the heart of Armagh City, was nominated by Jenny Rafferty.
She said:” Martin has created a space for people of all ages and backgrounds and all walks of life to get creative and learn a new skill.
“This becomes such an addition to a person’s life as he has created a safe space for people to find new friendships, deepen their passions and give them a confidence boost which makes an impact on their life as a whole.
“He has an unwavering determination to promote music and learning an instrument as a
form of therapy to support young people’s mental health and provide another option to the usual 9-5 jobs by training young people to be able to go out in public places and provide entertainment and
make their own money.
“He is a humble inspiration to many by doing what he loves most.”