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Local teacher honoured for inspiring digital innovation

A BERAGH woman who teaches at St Patrick’s College in Dungannon has been honoured as schools across the country celebrated ‘Thank a Teacher Day’ to highlight families’ gratitude to school staff.

Selected from thousands of nominations, Catriona Houston was selected as one of 102 Pearson National Teaching Silver Award winners across the country.

Mrs Houston was honoured with a Silver Award in The Award for Digital Innovator of the Year for her school’s outstanding commitment to changing the lives of the children they work with every day.

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Leading the school’s ICT Department, Mrs Houston is renowned for her passion, creativity and innovation, supporting pupils to develop their skills to leave school with the digital knowledge they will need for the future.

She led the school to securing a Cyber First Silver Award, one of only two schools in Northern Ireland to achieve this status.

Her First Tech Robotics Team have recently represented Northern Ireland in the UK Finals, and her student Digital Ambassadors were selected to speak to UK Members of Parliament on Internet safety.

Catriona has now been shortlisted to win one of just 15 Gold Awards later in the year, in a programme which will be broadcast on the BBC.

St Patrick’s Principal, Catherine McHugh, said they were “very proud of Mrs Houston and all the great work she has undertaken” .

She continued, “Mrs Houston is innovative and forward-planning. She has established a network of links to ICT companies and organisations to enable skill-based learning opportunities and work experiences, both in person and virtual for our pupils.

“She is focused on ensuring quality outcomes for pupils and a curriculum which is aimed at enabling them to build their ICT skills in the areas necessary to contribute fully as a member of the future workforce within the fourth industrial skills revolution.

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“We are delighted to celebrate her great and deserved success having been recognised with a Silver Pearson Award.”

The Silver Award winners are being honoured as part of the wider celebrations for ‘Thank a Teacher Day’, a national campaign to honour and recognise school staff for their incredible work.

Mrs Houston was presented with her Silver Award, by Bill Connors CEO of Sentinus.

The Pearson National Teaching Awards is an annual celebration of education, founded in 1998 by Lord Puttnam to recognise the life-changing impact an inspirational teacher can have on the lives of the young people they work with.

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