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Outstanding teacher finalists announced

Outstanding teacher finalists from 2018 (File photograph)

The finalists in a competition to find the island’s top teacher were announced yesterday.A total of ten teachers are in the running for the Outstanding Teacher Award 2020, organised by the Bermuda Education Network and picked from a field of almost 40.Becky Ausenda, the executive director of BEN, said the finalists were picked on criteria that included teaching expertise, leadership skills and contribution to the community.She said: “We created this award for all public school educators in order to send the message that your hard work and dedication does not go unnoticed.“To be a finalist means that you have been recognised for outstanding work and are held in high esteem by your colleagues.”The finalists are Denise Booth from West Pembroke Primary School, Liz Braithwaite from Port Royal Primary School, Gina Cann from Paget Primary School, Hosang Clarke from CedarBridge Academy and Diamond Outerbridge from The Berkeley Institute.Also in the running are Lugenia Payne from Southampton Preschool, Lisa Siese from Somerset Primary School, Christene Wilson James from Sandys Middle School, Ajene Webb from Dellwood Middle School and Kamilah Weeks from Dalton E Tucker Primary School.Ms Ausenda said that Ms Siese and Ms Outerbridge had been selected as finalists for the second time.The award is sponsored by Axa XL with support from the producers of the song Proud to Be Bermudian.Carol Parker Trott, the communications and marketing director at Axa XL, said: “As education is the fundamental foundation for future success, Axa XL is proud to support this award which recognises the importance of public school educators to our community.“Congratulations to all the finalists for your commitment and contributions to public education.” Finalists will be observed in their classrooms by BEN’s nominating committee during January and will attend a fundraising dinner at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club on January 25, when the winner will be announced. The top prize will be $1,000 and the runners-up will each receive $500.All proceeds will go towards BEN’s programmes to improve public education.These include the Horizons programme which provides learning experiences for teachers and pupils at eight public primary schools, summer learning opportunities for children who struggle with reading and a range of teacher events including a health retreat in August.• Tables for the event are available for $1,500 or $2,000 for patrons. Contact becky.ausenda@ben.bm for details