For being role models in their field, heads of department Lim Chwee Lian and Mischa Leigh Pereira won the inaugural Leadership Award at the Inspiring Teachers of English Award event.
Yesterday, the two were honoured alongside seven other teachers at the seventh annual event, held at the National Museum of Singapore.
Jointly presented by the Speak Good English Movement (SGEM) and The Straits Times, the awards recognise outstanding teachers of English Language, English Literature and General Paper, and are supported by the Ministry of Education.
The new category acknowledges coordinators or level, subject and department heads (HODs) who have led their schools in the development and implementation of an effective English programme.
SGEM chairman Goh Eck Kheng said the new category will encourage HODs and give them the recognition they deserve.
"While it is important to have good English teachers, it is also important to have leaders who are able to motivate and guide these teachers to be the best they can be," he added.
Senior Minister of State for Education and Law Indranee Rajah, who was guest of honour at the award ceremony, said in her speech that a person's command of the language will impact his life because so much of life is communication.
"It is really the teachers who make the difference. The children do learn at home... but school is where they learn the formal rules, where they understand why it is they have to say something in a particular way," she said.
Madam Lim, 54, Seng Kang Primary's English HOD, prepared conducive reading corners schoolwide to champion a culture of reading, believing "it is really the foundation for any learning".
Madam Pereira, 38, HOD of English Language and Literature at Bedok View Secondary, set out to be a role model for teachers and students.
"An English HOD needs to inspire both the teachers as well as the students to love and be passionate about the language," she said.
Winners were selected through an interview process, from teachers who were nominated by their school leaders, colleagues or students.
The recipients of the Inspiring Teachers of English Award are:
Ms Melissa Chew Ai Ling, 32, subject head of English Literature at Serangoon Junior College;
Ms Claudia Wong Shi-Lei, 29, an English teacher at Xingnan Primary School;
Madam Germaine Lee Kwee Ming, 66, an English teacher at Kuo Chuan Presbyterian School;
Mr Richard Koh Pee Chou, 38, subject head of information and communications technology (ICT), curriculum innovation and professional development, at Crescent Girls' School;
Mr Mong Kok Thong, 38, HOD of ICT at Pasir Ris Secondary;
Madam Salama Ishak Noordin, 53, senior teacher at Temasek Junior College; and
Ms Shamala Maheswaran, 48, an English Literature teacher at Millennia Institute.
This article was first published on Oct 22, 2014.
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