Essex graduate Liz Bailey has been named Outstanding New Teacher of the Year at the national Pearson Teaching Awards 2012.
Liz completed her BA English Literature and MA Literature before progressing on to study for a PhD in Literature at the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex.
After completing her teacher training, she started working at Clacton County High School in 2010 as a trainee teacher and became head of English in 2011.
The national awards judging panel said she has brought “immense riches” to pupils who are achieving some of their best-ever results.
The judges said: “She is super-intelligent, but she is emotionally intelligent too. She is already a leader beyond her own classroom and she will go far.”
Anna Page, a sixth-form student, nominated her for an Award to say thank you for helping her win a place at Cambridge University.
Anna, now a second year English undergraduate, wrote: “Her love for the subject shines through in my lessons, meaning you can't help but also begin to love it.
"She gave up her time to give me extra tutoring and for this I am so grateful. She's not just a teacher, but a role model and friend. She has achieved so much as a teacher, and more than anyone I've met is someone I aspire to be like.”
Jeff Brindle, head teacher at Clacton County High, said: “She has a deep love of English literature that shines through everything she does and inspires and motivates both pupils and staff.”
A spokesman for the awards said: “Liz is widely respected by other staff for her knowledge of English and the science of learning, her application of data and analysis of students' abilities. She is transforming attainment across the school and in a consortium of local schools.
“Clacton County High, which is now an Academy, is high performing, but Liz's aim to improve English AS grades resulted in 43 out of 66 students achieving A*/A grades.”
Liz is also a Year 8 form tutor and is popular with all students who describe her as “enthusiastic”, “funny”, “calm”, “the best ever”.
One parent whose son has special needs said: “Our whole life is better as a result of having Miss Bailey as his tutor.”
A television programme, based on the ceremony and the award winners at work in their schools, will be broadcast on Sunday 28 October on BBC2.