SHE has been an inspiration to hundreds of children throughout her 30 years of teaching.
And now Ruth Carty has beaten thousands of other hopefuls to win an outstanding achievement award.
The Year 6 Titchfield Primary School teacher was surprised in front of the whole school, as the judges sneaked in to present her with her award.
Ruth, who has been at the school for 10 years, was selected from more than 24,000 nominations for outstanding local heroes of education to become the winner of the Pearson Teaching Award for Lifetime Achievement 2013 in London and the South East.
She said: ‘I was shocked because I’ve met so many brilliant teachers.
‘And you always day-to-day compare yourself to your colleagues and I don’t think I do anything different in the classroom to what they do.
‘This is a very special place. It’s a very special community – a very close community. I could feel that the minute I walked in 10 years ago and it’s the same now. It’s been great to be part of moving it forward and moving it on.’
Children applauded and cheered and members of staff gave her a standing ovation as she collected her award.
‘That was lovely. It was humbling to have people stand up and clap for you,’ she added.
Author Michael Morpurgo who wrote War Horse, was one of the people who nominated Ruth.
They got to know each other through the charity Farms for City Children, which organises trips to the countryside for children from city schools.
Headteacher Mike Bainbridge had worked hard for days to arrange the surprise award presentation.
He said: ‘It’s been really hard to keep it a secret. Even the staff didn’t know.
‘I just think it’s a fantastic recognition for a unique individual.
‘You could tell by the way she spoke she was talking about our school and the other teachers and the team.
‘For her it’s always about other people rather than herself. She’s amazing.’
Judith Bennett, teaching award judge, said: ‘She clearly inspired everyone that she worked with and has done over the years as a teacher. She inspired us, we thought she was fantastic.’
The Pearson Teaching Awards are an annual celebration of exceptional teachers and teaching. They recognize the life-changing impact of an inspirational teacher on the lives of young people.
Ruth will now join fellow winners at the UK final of the Teaching Awards on Sunday, October 20.