A former primary teacher at Bonnygate Primary School, in South Ockendon, her colleagues say she is convinced that any child, irrespective of their home circumstances, can thrive if shown love, trust and belief.
She put this into practice by spending countless hours before, during and after school, coaching young people and building up their confidence and self-esteem.
While teaching she took her Grade 1 violin exam alongside her pupils in order to demonstrate to them her own aspirations for self-improvement.
Retiring in 2008 to care for her mother, she returned to the school in 2010 to teach and mentor pupils voluntarily.
More than 90 people are today recognised for their service to education, children and families in the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Six of those involved in education received knighthoods or damehoods, while nine have been given the British Empire Medal, a historic award revived for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
Chris Wormald, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education, said:
“Congratulations to everyone working across the gamut of education and children’s services who have had their endeavours recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Their impressive contribution is helping every child realise their potential, regardless of their background or circumstances”.