SERENA ACE-HOPKINS has been nominated for the HSBC-sponsored Teacher of the Year award for being a ‘role model’ at two schools.
Initially working at St Sampson’s High, Ms Ace-Hopkins now works at The Ladies’ College as head of geography and a student from each felt she deserved to be recognised for being a ‘caring, funny, unique, supportive and influential teacher’.
Ladies’ College student Nicole Hubert, 18, said her teacher always strived to make her students the best versions of themselves.
‘She is an asset to everyone she teaches and her school community,’ she said.
‘The care and compassion she shows for her students is exceptional.
‘She does not hesitate to take time out of her busy schedule to help and support her students when they are in need.
‘While she teaches countless students, she is also there for anyone who she hasn’t had the chance to teach, even if they’re just in need of someone to listen and have a chat.’
She added that for Ms Ace-Hopkins it went beyond teaching.
‘Grades are not her sole focus, she understands that each student is individual and that mental health is a huge part of educating young people,’ she said.
‘By having such an approachable and reliable supporter it makes the student school environment more enjoyable.
‘Countless students who have had the chance to know Miss Ace will know that she really is ace.’
Charlie Roberts, 17, who knew her from St Sampson’s High, said he wanted to nominate her because she was a role model.
‘She always spoke to me as an adult and was consistently helpful, considerate and never judgemental,’ he said. ‘
‘More than a teacher, she was a someone I could look up to academically.
‘I suffer from anxiety and during a trip to Italy one year she was able to calm me down at the airport. It was very helpful to feel supported in that situation.’