A TEACHER nicknamed ‘Miss Smiley’ has been nominated for a Worcestershire Education Award.

Jessica Millward, aged 30, from Hanley Castle High School has been nominated for Teacher of the Year Award.

Miss Millward said: “I feel embarrassed to be nominated – I am quite bashful about it. I was not expecting this nomination, but I feel very proud. As a teacher your aim is to make a difference to the pupils. It feels amazing that my teaching is worthy of noting and has been recognised.”

Miss Millward began teaching at the school in 2014. Since September last year, she has taken on the role as literacy and numeracy leader for the Hanley and Upton Educational Trust.

Miss Millward said: “I love seeing the children progress and grow up. Often my previous pupils who are now at university come back to visit and keep me up to date with their lives. These rewards are not measurable and it is an amazing part of being a teacher.

“I am fierce in terms of making sure everyone has a positive experience at school. I have heard people call me ‘Miss Smiley’ and I have a reputation of emphasising positivity. I think it is important to greet the children everyday with a smile and model positivity.”

Lindsey Cooke, headteacher at Hanley Castle High School nominated Miss Millward for the award.

In the nomination she wrote: “Jess is a truly exceptional teacher who has made a huge impression on the lives of every child she has come into contact with her. Jess is irrepressibly optimistic, inspiring children of all ages and abilities to achieve great things. She is also the most caring, supportive and demanding tutor, inspiring fierce loyalty and the very highest standards in her tutees.

“Jess has taken her own special brand of infectious enthusiasm to the primary sector, with the same brilliant results. By doing so she has proved that some people are just born to teach any age, any ability and anywhere.”

Miss Millward is a frequent winner of Hanley Castle’s ABCD award which is for those members of staff who routinely go over and above the call of duty.

Read more Worcestershire Education Award nominees