Roberta Lyons, a classroom assistant at Ashfield Girls’ High School in East Belfast, was the recipient of one of the Special Recognition awards for Empowering Students at the recent Blackboard Awards, held at Belfast City Hall on Friday 1st February.
The prestigious awards ceremony celebrates and recognises the achievements of all of those involved in the teaching profession across the greater Belfast area in conjunction with Aisling Events and Danske Bank and Mrs Lyons was one of only 8 awards winners in the Special Recognition category.
Roberta was nominated by the school’s Learning Support Co-ordinator, Tracy Rossborough, because of her inspiring work and positive attitude when supporting pupils with a range of different SEN needs-from high functioning Asperger’s pupils to students with diabetes as well as a number of others with learning difficulties.
Ms Rossborough told us,
“In 2016 we were devastated when Roberta was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to undergo gruelling surgery followed by months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Through it all she remained positive and stayed in contact with school-sending us messages with ideas for the new Christmas crafts as well as sharing strategies for supporting ‘her pupils’. When she was well enough, she immediately returned to school with her drive and enthusiasm, ready to take on new challenges. She has ‘counselled’ pupils and has recently helped establish a sensory room. Nothing is ever too much for Roberta-she always goes the extra mile for pupils, parents and teachers and is so deserving of some formal recognition for her continuous commitment and dedication.”
The event was opened by Councillor Deirdre Hargey, Lord Mayor of Belfast, and the host for the evening was BBC N Ireland’s Barra Best.