Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Sussex hairdressing teacher who leaves behind a legacy of learning
The Teacher of the Year award recognises teachers who have made a substantial impact on their school and pupils.
In June, Heather Fensom retired from teaching hairdressing after 41 years.
She taught there for 25 years, and for the last 16 years she has passed on her skills at Central Sussex College.
Many of her students have gone on to work in top salons throughout Sussex and many own their own businesses.
Mark Burnard and his business partner Tony Wheeler, who own Master Wheeler Hairdressers in Brighton, are two ex-pupils and have both worked in hairdressing for more than 30 years.
They said: “Where would Brighton hairdressing be without Heather Fensom?
“Over the years she has been responsible for equipping a vast number of the county’s students with the skills to make a successful career in hairdressing.”
Former student Louise Channon, who studied at City College Brighton in the late 1980s, said of her former teacher: “A truly lovely, inspiring teacher, who encouraged you to be the best you could be, and believed in you 100 per cent.”
Another ex-student is Robert Rousseau, who went on to teach at New College Stamford in Lincolnshire, and now is chief advisor for Hairdressing to WorldSkills International, judging hairdressing
Last year's winner
Dewi Vaughan taught at Longhill from 1973 up until his retirement last year – leaving behind an amazing legacy.
Haydn Stride, the headteacher at Longhill School in Rottingdean, nominated Mr Vaughan for last year’s award.
He said: “When students launch a Facebook campaign to have a new wing of a school named after a member of staff, you know something special has occurred.
“When they are joined by 39 years’ worth of ex-students, parents, carers and local community dignitaries, one has no option but to be humbled by the impact one person can have on the lives of so many.
“Dewi has given his entire career as a teacher to the Longhill community. The institutional memory that he holds of developments, initiatives, relationships, interactions and local history has provided a touchstone for us all.
“Dewi’s career encompasses inspirational teaching, outstanding sports leadership and development, deeply empathic pastoral care and collegiate support. He is part of our school’s fabric.”
Mr Vaughan told The Argus: “I was very proud to win the award. Having just retired it was a great moment to feel that l had won recognition for serving the school and the community for 39 years to the best of my ability.
“The fantastic relationships l had built up with staff, students and families have always been rewarding and make teaching such a brilliant vocation.
“Retirement has been great as it has given me to the chance to re-engage with some outstanding past students, continue to coach sport three times a week after school and reignite my passion for rugby union.”
The award is sponsored by The Argus’s Youth in Action supplement.
Tell us about your inspirational teachers, carers, volunteers and pupils.
We want to know which charity deserves recognition along with the most deserving business in the community, event, school, local hero and many more.
There are a number of ways you can have your say. You can simply fill out the online entry form.
You can also send your suggestion by email to email@example.com.
Comments are closed on this article.