The phenomenal dedication and passion of NET Director Mrs Sarah Karkeek has earned her the title of ‘Outstanding Governor of the Year 2016’.
Mrs Karkeek, Chair of NET Board of Directors, won the award at the first ever Cornwall Teacher Awards held at Truro Cathedral on the 15th April. This prestigious award was given in recognition of her using her skills and knowledge to help develop the governance of other institutions as well as her own.
Nominated by Mrs Sue Martin CEO of the Newquay Education Trust, Mrs Karkeek became the Chair of Governors at Newquay Tretherras in 2013. She has overseen Newquay Junior and Tretherras becoming a Multi-Academy Trust (NET) and has also seen Newquay Tretherras benefit from the government’s second phase of the Priority School Building Programme, where an estimated £11 million will be invested in a new school building.
Mrs Karkeek was first a Local Authority Governor in the 1980’s as Chair of the Parish Council and she became a governor at Mawgan-in-Pydar School. Mrs Karkeek became a parent governor when her own children started at the school in the mid-1990’s. At the same time, Sarah was asked to be a Governor at Newquay Junior and within a year she was elected Chair, a position she maintained until the formation of NET in 2014.
Mrs Karkeek, an accomplished teacher herself and the founding Director of ‘Happy Days’ nurseries, was elected to be a Parent Governor at Newquay Tretherras when her eldest son started secondary school in 2006.
Mrs Karkeek has committed over 20 years service to Governance and was awarded the National Leader of Governance status by the National College for Teaching and Leadership in May 2015.
“As a Governor, I have been pleased to help a number of schools overcome governance issues and became a Learning Mentor for the National College for Teaching and Leadership where I helped to train new Chairs of Governing Bodies.’
Reflecting on her decision to become a Governor Mrs Karkeek said, “I became a Governor because I genuinely believe in young people and want to do whatever I can to give them the best opportunities.”
Sarah’s own personal highlights have been seeing her own children and countless others thrive in Cornish schools, securing the funding to rebuild a large part of Newquay Tretherras and make it fit for purpose, seeing the children of Newquay Junior enter their new Hall for their first assembly and observing the awe and wonder on their faces, attending music, art and drama concerts and exhibitions and being reminded of just how talented our children are and seeing so many young people get so much out of their sports and being part of a team.
Mrs Karkeek added, “I have also been privileged to work alongside some amazing teachers, support staff and school leaders who work incredibly hard and show real devotion to their students. Education is a team effort and I have been honoured to be a small part of the team.”
Mrs Martin commented, “ Sarah has given her life to Cornish children and Cornish schools. She is generous, measured and compassionate. She’s a natural leader, fearless and always honorable. Sarah has the kind of integrity we all feel is awe-inspiring. I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more.”
Mrs Sarah Karkeek, “I was honoured to accept this award which recognises the important role played by governors in all our schools and academies.
Children are the future and whether as staff, parents or governors, we all need to work together to ensure the best outcomes for our children. I am privileged to be able to play a part in this”.
Mrs Hayley Coombes , SENCO at Newquay Tretherras was also nominated for SEN Teacher of The Year, for the impact she has made on the children she has worked with.