AN “INSPIRATIONAL” Penarth teacher has been named alongside 26 education leaders nominated for a top national award.

Gavin Packer, a teacher at St Cyres School, has been nominated in the ‘Youth work in schools’ category at the Professional Teaching Awards Cymru.

With the original ceremony postponed due to the pandemic, celebrations will now be held virtually on Sunday November 29.

A spokesman for St Cyres School said: “Gavin’s nurturing, calming and relaxed personality enables him to develop strong rapports with young people.

“He is driven by his passion of working with young people and he is an integral part of the school community.

“His supportive, non-judgemental and positive attitude shows that young people are at the forefront of all the work he does, and he is always looking for new and exciting ways to engage with them to enhance their education.

“He is a role model to young people and a true inspiration, making time for anyone who comes across his path and he is always willing to go the extra mile to provide invaluable guidance.”

Mr Packer has been nominated alongside Barry finalist Yvonne Hawkins, who works at Palmerston Primary School and has been nominated in the ‘School business manager category’.

Penarth Times: Yvonne HawkinsYvonne Hawkins

A spokesman for Palmerston Primary School said: “Yvonne is a natural leader who is compassionate and committed to the whole school.

“She goes above and beyond to ensure everyone is valued and listened to despite her busy workload, and has created a safe space for pupils.”

More than 100 nominations were collated earlier this year from pupils, colleagues and parents.

Schools, pupils, and families can support the finalists by watching the ceremony on the Education Wales Facebook page from 6pm.

Education minister Kirsty Williams said: “It has been an incredibly tough year for parents, pupils and schools across Wales, but the education sector has shown immense resilience.

“Determination and innovation have shone through this year and our education workforce have been working tirelessly to keep Wales learning. 

“It is a privilege to announce these remarkable finalists and to read their stories of hard work and commitment.”