TOP school staff in Flintshire are set to be recognised for their hard work at a national awards ceremony.

Over 100 education professionals were nominated for the third Professional Teaching Awards Cymru and, in the 29 across Wales revealed as finalists for the awards, three are from Flintshire.

Nominees from North Wales include Nia Williams, who is originally from Wrexham and teaches at Alun School in Mold, was shortlisted for the ‘Inspirational Use of Welsh Language’ award.

She said: “I am extremely flattered. It did come as a complete surprise. The information about it was in my pigeon hole and I thought one of my colleagues was having a joke – but then I realised it was not.

“I discovered another teacher had nominated me and I’m still totally in disbelief. I have never been nominated for anything like this before – it is quite overwhelming.”

Gillian Stevenson, who was nominated by Elfed head teacher Alistair Stubbs for the ‘School Business Manager’ award, said: “It’s an honour to be shortlisted and it was a complete surprise.

“I could only do my job with working with the best team, which is at Elfed High School. I have been here nearly 13 years and I enjoy my job very much.”

Tracy Jones, head teacher at Ysgol Merllyn in Bagillt, could claim the ‘Headteacher of the Year’ title.

She said: “The children and our community make a wonderful school environment I am proud of.

“The news came as a complete surprise and I am thrilled to have been nominated by the teaching and support staff and that they believe my work is worthy of the title.”

Education Minister Kirsty Williams said: “As ever, the calibre of nominations is astounding, and it is truly humbling to see yet another group of inspiring finalists. Part of our national mission is to raise standards of education and make everyone proud to study in Wales.

“At the heart of the system are the teaching professionals. Every day teachers, support and business staff are all making a real difference to the lives of our young people and it Is vital that we recognise them for their contributions.

“The finalists are a credit to the profession. They should all be exceptionally proud of themselves and I am very much looking forward to meeting them all to celebrate their hard work.”

The winners from each of the categories will be announced at a special ceremony held at Mold’s Soughton Hall on May 19.