A FORMER Uttoxeter resident whose love of teaching saw her standing before university students has been crowned an ‘inspirational’ lecturer.
Rebecca Manton, formerly of Hawthorden Close, won the Staff Excellence Award for Inspirational Lecturer of the Year, for her dedication to the role at University of Derby.
At just 28, the senior lecturer is among the youngest people to win the award, which was presented by the chancellor of the university John Coyne.
Miss Manton, who teaches education, said: “It is amazing to have won this award and I am incredibly grateful and privileged.
“I am happier that the people I work with get the recognition as it is less about me as an individual and more about showing teaching education to be such a brilliant programme.
“I work with the most amazing people, who are so talented and hardworking so it is more of a team award really.
“I couldn’t achieve anything without being part of the team.
“The most important thing for me is the students and helping them to become the very best teacher they can be.
“I absolutely love working here, it is amazing.”
Miss Manton is following in her mother Janet’s footsteps with a love of teaching, as she was a well-known teacher at Oldfields Hall Middle School for 12 years.
The lecturer studied at Picknalls, Oldfields and Thomas Alleyne’s before studying at the University of Derby for a bachelor honours in education.
She went to work at primary schools in the Staffordshire and Derbyshire area where she took roles including the head of literacy before landing the role at the University of Derby.
She added: “For three years I did my bachelor degree and now some of the people who taught me are my colleagues which is really cool.
“People were nominated for the awards from the entire university.
“The list was then shortlisted and people from the different faculties were put forward.
“I was nominated for the education, health and social sciences department.
“It was great to have been chosen out of all of the faculties that were put forward.
“I have been at the university for two years now and I love it. It is a privilege to be able to do something I really love.
“I feel lucky that I get to teach as not everyone gets up in the morning and gets to do something they enjoy doing.
“I feel like that about teaching every day.
“I would like to thank my very lovely family because they have supported me through school, then university and now my carer.
“They were incredibly supportive of my change of career from school teacher to university lecturer, as it is a very different job.
“It was an honour to meet the vice chancellor as he is very much a public figure at the university and I usually only get to see him at important events.
“I said to him as I shook his hand that when I last did that it was when he did the vote of thanks speech when I finished university.”
As a reward for her hard work, Miss Manton will receive a £1,000 prize which she can spend as she pleases.
The lecturer said: “Because it is quite an individual award the money goes to me to spend in any way I want which is great.
“If it was a faculty award then the money would go to the department to spend.
“We have not decided what to do with it yet but we may potentially spend it on a little break.
“We have not 100 per cent decided really what to do.”
Mr Coyne said in a letter to Miss Manton: “Competition for these awards has increased every year since their inception and I am always deeply impressed by the quality of the winners of these awards and this year has been no exception.”