NOMINATIONS for the region’s top teachers and school staff have been flooding in for our schools and education awards.

Following the success of last year’s inaugural awards, the South Wales Argus Schools and Education Awards 2018 have been launched, but time is running out to send in your nominations for teachers, teaching assistants, lecturers and schools.

Maria Appleby took one of the top honours at the 2017 event, said the event “a highlight” of her year.

She won the Teacher of the Year Award, sponsored by the University of South Wales.

Ms Appleby, who teaches at New Inn Primary School, said: “The award was extremely unexpected after working so many years in profession. I felt privileged just to be nominated by the community.

“It is lovely to be recognised, but in this profession you do your job because you love it.”

The teacher has been working at the school for 22 years and works in the nursery department of the school.

She added: “Although it was a personal award it was for the team.

“If it wasn’t for headteacher allowing me to be creative in my work and try new things I wouldn’t have been able to develop professionally.”

Anyone who is thinking of sending in a nomination has until 5pm on January 19.

The South Wales Argus Schools and Education Awards is being held in partnership with the University of South Wales.

There are, in total, 15 award categories - which recognise the extraordinary commitment and dedication that so many staff bring to education every day.

You can nominate people working within the Gwent area of Monmouthshire, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent, Newport and Caerphilly county borough.

Mrs Appleby added: “It’s worth nominating someone who has done something special and gone that extra mile. They might not even realise that what they do that means so much to people.

“Sometimes even something small you do for someone can make a huge difference. You don’t realise impact something small can have on someone.

“I felt very privileged to be nominated by the community and felt very valued.

“The evening was lovely, and everybody made me feel very special.”

Roy Noble, one of Wales’ most popular broadcasters, and formerly the head teacher of two primary schools, will host this year’s awards event, on March 8, at Chepstow Racecourse.

To nominate for free visit