AN OUTSTANDING teacher is celebrating after being named top of the class with a prestigious award.

English teacher Sarah Cross, of Harwich and Dovercourt High School, was named secondary school teacher of the year at the Essex Teaching Awards.

The event, held at a special ceremony in Chelmsford, celebrated excellence in education and highlights the outstanding work of teachers and other staff in the county’s schools.

Ms Cross joined the school in 2012 as an English teacher and in 2016, she coached Year 11 students to the national finals of the Rotary Youth Speaks competition.

Lynne Gettings, deputy head teacher at Harwich and Dovercourt High School, said: “Sarah’s career progressed relatively quickly with leadership responsibilities for teaching and learning both within English and whole-school.

“In 2016 she coached a group of Year 11 students in public speaking.

“In 2017 Sarah was successfully accredited as a Lead Practitioner.

“She is an inspirational teacher, coach, mentor, leader, trainer and colleague who ensures the students are at the heart of every aspect of her work.”