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Moray & Banffshire Heroes 2024: Secondary school teacher shortlist revealed!

By Leah Williamson

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Here is your shortlist for the secondary school teacher award. Voting closes on Sunday, March 24.

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Jasmin Taylor

Jasmin Taylor.
Jasmin Taylor.

Elgin High School PE teacher, Jasmin Taylor, has been described as a “brilliant” teacher who “goes out of her way” to support her pupils.

A nomination said: “She is a hard-working, dedicated, caring and compassionate teacher who cares very much for the students and only wants the best for them.

“She goes out of her way to help them, she is brilliant with ASN students and even takes them for tennis or badminton lessons during her lunch breaks.”

Jasmin, who also plays tennis competitively, has been teaching for seven years and has been a PE teacher at Elgin High School for five years.

She loves her job and finds the opportunity to be a key role model for her students hugely rewarding.

“Everyday is different! There's ups, downs, laughs, tears but I always learn something new. I enjoy building relationships with our young people and supporting them to be the best version of themselves.

“It is rewarding to know I make a positive difference to their lives and to be a key role model in their growth into adulthood.”

On learning she had been shortlisted for the secondary school teacher of the year award, Jasmin added: “I'm really flattered to have been nominated for this, never mind being shortlisted!

“Honestly, I just love what I do and to be recognised for that is a wonderful feeling.”

June Buchan and Emma McLauchlan

June Buchan and Emma McLauchlan.
June Buchan and Emma McLauchlan.

Deputy head teachers at Elgin High School, June Buchan and Emma McLauchlan, have been praised and thanked for working tirelessly to support their pupils and help them reach their full potential.

A nomination said: “They offer the school community lots and demonstrate the key qualities of resilience, respect, care and nurture. These qualities go a long way to instill positive values within the school community and beyond.

“June and Emma work tirelessly to support the young people of Elgin High School to reach their full potential as well as ensuring that they have a positive academic and social experience..... thank you!”

Both were surprised but delighted to have been shortlisted.

“I’m quite shocked!,” said June. “I was taken aback because what we do here is just what we do ‒ we come to work to help young people. We don’t see what we do is different to anyone else. Being nominated came out of the blue.”

“We both thought ‒ what on earth!?,” added Emma. “We don’t think we do anything that a depute wouldn't do to get the best out of the children.”

June and Emma have been teaching for 23 years and 20 years, respectively, with June at Elgin High for five years, and Emma, six years.

Both remain passionate about teaching, supporting pupils through intervention and group work with youngsters that require extra support or nurture.

“It’s the interaction with the young people,” explained June. “It’s the impact you can make for so many young people in so many different ways regardless of their pathway.”

Added Emma: “I like the creative side of being a depute. Finding the right intervention, and if it doesn’t exist, making it exist for young people.”

Barratt & David Wilson Homes North Scotland is sponsoring the award for secondary school teacher.

Construction director, Kevin Urquhart, said: “As the UK’s leading sustainable housebuilder, we are always incredibly proud to support the future generations’ success. We are supporting the secondary teacher category to highlight the incredible work carried out each day by teachers in Moray and Banffshire. It is their inspiration that drives confidence in young professionals onto their next stage of skills development, higher education or their first steps into a new career. With the skills and knowledge supplied by those dedicated to secondary education, we can see the positive impact this has on our very own new homes business and wider industry.

“This year we continue to grow the industry, particularly in Elgin, with the employment of more trade apprentices in the area to strengthen our site teams, as well as growing our graduate, office and site management teams who continually win Pride in the Job awards year after year – none of which would be achieved without the commitment and pride of teachers in the first stage of building young adults’ career prospects.

“We saw last year the incredible amount of extracurricular efforts that secondary teachers put in to support young adults in the Highland community and we’re delighted to support the Moray and Banffshire region this year too. We strongly encourage readers to vote for their local Heroes so we can raise awareness of those who are truly deserving of such recognition.”

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