By Brereton Horne

Anoria Simmons 003Drury Lane in London, and in particular the Theatre Royal at Covent Garden, was abuzz with on Sunday as thousands of celebrants including teachers, friends, television and sporting personalities (including Mo Farrah the double Olympic champion at the London Olympics 2012) and well-wishers gathered to witness the presentation ceremony of the Pearson Teaching Awards UK 2013.

As Vincentians, my wife, Andrea, and I were proud to be a part of the audience and the contingent of cheering supporters on behalf of Anoria Simmons hoping that she wins the award for the category of The Primary School Teacher of the Year.

We were not disappointed. She won!

She dedicated the award to the pupils, teachers and parents of her school, The Devonshire Hill Primary School, Tottenham, London, who all showered her with adulation and praise for her outstanding work.

Anoria, who originally hails from Spring Village in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) migrated to the UK with her husband and family in the 1990s when her husband, Andrew Simmons, was posted to work at the Commonwealth Office in London. I listened and basked in nostalgia and beamed with pride as Anoria told of the experience and skills she gained as a teacher whilst teaching in SVG before she migrated to the UK. The moment was nostalgic because I remember when she, her husband, Andrew and I were all young teachers in training at the Teachers’ College at Arnos Vale in SVG (Andrew and I subsequently went different went pathways, he to youth, community development and environmental control and I to law). Anoria spoke with eloquence and confidence when she was being interviewed upon receiving the award, which incidentally will be televised on BBC Television here in the UK next Sunday.

The award is even more special when one takes into account the rigorous nomination and selection process that Anoria endured and came out victorious. There were 24,000 nominations throughout England, Scotland and Wales who were nominated in 10 different categories. That number of 24,000 was eventually whittled down to 66 on the day. Surely this is a wow moment for Anoria, her family, and all Vincentians that she has been bestowed this honour. She is the Primary School Teacher of the year in the UK for 2013. Incidentally, I cannot end without mentioning that Anoria’s husband, Andrew, was at Buckingham Palace on Friday when he was being recognised and thanked by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his outstanding service and contribution to the Commonwealth in the area of youth and community development and environment control. The achievements of the members of the Simmons household are even more poignant as we near the 34th anniversary of the independence of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Blessings are flowing in the Simmons’ household and as a consequence upon us all as Vincentians. Let us as all congratulate them for their achievements and be a part of the positivity as we all look forward to Oct. 27 — the 34th anniversary of Independence of our blessed nation.

17 replies on “Vincentian, Anoria Simmons, is UK’s Primary School Teacher of the Year”

  1. Patricia Commissiong says:

    Not to detract from the achievement of Ms Simmons, but your headline is inaccurate. Ms Simmons is not “UK’s primary school teacher of the year” The award is for London and the South East. The UK is comprised of all of England (not just the South East), Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    1. Truth be Told says:

      Of course she is!

      A Tottenham teacher loved by pupils, known as “Super Simmons” by parents and likened to “sunshine on our corridor” by her colleagues has been crowned the best primary school teacher in the entire UK. Anoria Simmons, a maths specialist at Devonshire Hill primary school who is admired for her “strict but fair” approach, won the award on Sunday night at the “Oscars for teachers”, the Pearson Teaching Awards.
      We are vincentians Ms Commissiong and we excel wherever we go.

  2. The original story does describe Anoria’s award as “the national award for teacher of the year in a primary school”. It further says that she has “been crowned the best primary school teacher in the entire UK”. This came from “Tottenham & Woodgreen Journal”

    Anoria, like other teachers were nominated by her school, shortlisted and judged by visits to her school from regional and UK judging panels.

    Another quote says :
    “Rod Bristow, President of Pearson UK and chair of the Pearson Teaching Awards UK judging panel said: “We recognise and support inspirational teachers for their commitment to teaching and learning and to improving the life chances of the next generation. It is really important that we create opportunities to say thank you.”

    Yet another says she was chosen among 10 award winners “from a record 24,000 nominations”

  3. Maybe some are confusing Anoria’s earlier win of the regional award for London and the South east in May with this one. She won the former in May. She then had to compete with all the regional winners and won. She is indeed the best Teacher in the UK in a primary School 2013

  4. Anoria Simmons says:

    Just to clarify your comment ms commissiong – I won the regional round of the uk Teaching Award 2013 for london and the south east in May. All the regional winners then had to compete for the UK Teacher of the Year. On sunday 22nd october I was awarded the gold plato as the uk’s primary school teacher of the year 2013 (england, scotland, wales and northern ireland.)

  5. Brereton Horne says:

    Patricia Commissiong there is nothing inaccurate or misleading about the headline. You can contact Peter Clarke, the Chairman of the Teaching Awards Trust, to confirm that the information is correct. Anoria Simmons is indeed the Primary School Teacher of the Year in the UK for 2013. Don’t be confused with the bit above her name that says “London and the South East” that is only to indicate her own region. If you are living in the UK watch BBC 2 on Sunday coming at %:30 in the afternoon and you will get further verification.

  6. Thank you Patricia. The staff of this site should work on fact checking before publishing geez. Basic tenants of journalism.

    Anyway, congrats to Anoria, well done!

  7. Brereton Horne says:

    Hairouna, you could be assured that the facts are correct, as I stated before, and that “Basic tenants of journalism” are met. There is no need to denigrate the staff of of this site.

    Let’s celebrate Anoria Simmons for her magnificence and stop quibbling over irrelevance.

  8. Andrew Simmons says:

    I want to take the opportunity to thank all of our friends and well-wishers for the magnificent support and greetings provided to Anoria and the family on her accomplishment. I won some of the most prestigious awards and recognitions in the world for my work in Environment and Community development but to me her award is more significant than all of the awards I received over the years.

    Anoria is truly a magnificent teacher – a perfectionist in her own right. Sitting in the Theatre Royal, in London in the most glitzy of environment and hearing the announcement that Anoria was the 2013 UK Teacher of the Year in the Primary Category was like “sweet music to my hears”. The announce was “sweet as a honeycomb”.

    Brothers and Sisters, as we approach the 34th anniversary of our national Independence lets hope that this award would contribute to inspiring the entire country of SVG and in particular the next generation to strive for excellence. Please watch the Award on BBC 2 at 5:30pm UK time (1:30 pm SVG time).

  9. Andrew Simmons says:

    1. I want to take the opportunity to thank all of our friends and well-wishers for the magnificent support and greetings provided to Anoria and the family on her accomplishment. I won some of the most prestigious awards and recognitions in the world for my work in Environment and Community development but to me her award is more significant than all of the awards I received over the years.
    Anoria is truly a magnificent teacher – a perfectionist in her own right. Sitting in the Theatre Royal, in London in the most glitzy of environment and hearing the announcement that Anoria was the 2013 UK Teacher of the Year in the Primary Category was like sweet music to my ears. The announcement was sweet as a honeycomb.
    Brothers and Sisters, as we approach the 34th anniversary of our national Independence let’s hope that this award would contribute to inspiring the entire nation of SVG and in particular the next generation to strive for excellence. Please watch the Award on BBC 2 at 5:30pm UK time (1:30 pm SVG time).

  10. Rev. Cornelius & Cecile Harry says:

    Congratulations to A wonderful hardworking couple.
    May God continue to bless you all as you seek to work for the good of all creation.
    We are very proud Vincentians.
    Blessings!

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