Published on January 3, 2023

At our Winter staff conference, the North Hertfordshire College and Hart Learning & Development community come together to celebrate achievements and staff excellence. Our staff nominate colleagues (and even entire teams!) who they think have gone above and beyond in their work throughout the year and who have demonstrated our community values. There’s even the coveted One Award for the most exceptional nominee who represents all of our values.

Check out the winners of the One Awards from December 2022 and read their nominations below!

Gary Evans – ECC Apprenticeships

Gary received multiple nominations from his colleagues – great work!

“Gary works tirelessly and professionally to support other staff and develop his own knowledge and practice. He provides excellent coaching to both new and experienced staff on the use of various systems and goes above and beyond in keeping up with industry changes so that he can provide brilliant support to both his colleagues and apprentices.

“With a focus on better understanding assessment and working with awarding bodies, he has made sure that he and his colleagues can support all apprentices in being well-prepared for important exams and their end-point assessment. He regularly receives positive feedback from apprentices and employers alike.

“In the last year, he has supported his team with professionalism and passion, with the learners always being at the forefront of everything he does. He is incredibly hard-working and goes above and beyond to support learners and tutors.”

James Ruggles – IT Services

“James is hugely valued by colleagues and students at the ECC.

“He responds to any requests for help in a consistently professional, calm, and efficient manner, ensuring that any potential barriers are quickly overcome. He is unflappable, with a proactive ‘can-do’ attitude. James goes above and beyond when working with the wider team to ensure the student experience is maximised.

“Although not a member of the curriculum delivery team, James has quickly and effortlessly become an important part of the ECC team.”

Mary Taylor – Beauty Therapy

“Since taking on her full-time role as a Course Team Leader, Mary has transformed the course she leads. Every day, she inspires her students and develops their skills to a very high level – even supporting a student in achieving a high position in a national competition!

“Mary’s students speak very highly of her and, despite going through a challenging year in her personal life, she has always found the time, patience, and creativity to go above and beyond. She constantly tries new things, involves employers within the curriculum, and arranges some excellent external experiences. As a keen social media user, evidence of both her own and her students’ work is easy to see!

“Mary genuinely takes a trauma-informed approach with her students and is so supportive and encouraging of all her learners.”

Josh Ashby – ECC Technician

“Josh is a highly-valued member of the ECC team. He patiently and diligently supports colleagues and students and has a proactive approach to all that he does. He is calm under pressure and demonstrates a high level of adaptability and resilience when challenged.

“Josh is a team member who instinctively goes the extra mile for staff and students at the ECC campus, working incredibly hard to ensure students enjoy a positive learning experience. He continually displays all of the College’s values through his hard work and dedication to his job. Josh’s colleagues describe him as ‘an asset to the organisation as a whole,’ and his contribution to the ECC community makes him a very worthy winner.”

Andrew McLeod – Finance

“Andrew has been very supportive in running the Finance team during a challenging year of big change.

“He is well-planned and organised, and offers sound advice on challenges faced by his team. Andrew has often made time to help others and offer his perspective and advice on how to improve service and has helped train a brand-new team. He provides excellent, consistent service to the Group and particularly the Hart Schools Trust. He has also provided stability within the wider team during a period of change which has helped us continue to deliver to all areas of the Group.”

Hart Learning & Development Functional Skills Team

“The Functional Skills team have achieved some great results this year and are genuinely going from strength to strength. They have taken on extra responsibilities that enable more learners to access the support they need whilst also integrating a new system to help learners grow and learn – a challenge that they have risen to and continue to drive forward.

“Improving year-on-year, the Functional Skills team have been able to deliver results that way out-perform the national averages, including in subjects that many learners find challenging.

“The team have an intense focus on delivering the most excellent experience for learners and this is demonstrated in the great feedback that they receive from their learners. In some cases, this comes from learners who have feared these subjects before and have now been supported to overcome their barriers and worries.”

Jennie Watts, Springboard

Jennie was nominated by her peers both inside and outside of her team – amazing work!

“Jennie goes above and beyond every day, for both staff and students. She is always willing to offer the team support and encouragement and has been a great sounding board and shoulder for the team if they have faced issues and challenges. She faces each day with a positive and can-do attitude.

“Jennie always looks at the positives and brings fresh ideas and has helped the team streamline how we work to save us both time and effort and ensure staff feel heard and understood. She has recognised and supported staff when they have been struggling and is always there with an encouraging word. She leads by example and has been a real positive influence on our provision.

“She deals with other professionals and parents in a respectful manner. Jennie always works on a solution and not the problem, and gets stuck in wherever she is needed. She does all of this with a smile and a positive disposition.”

Claire Anderson-Byrne, Student Experience

“A relative newcomer to the team, Claire joined us with boundless enthusiasm at the start of this term and has brought this excitement to her classes and how she works with students and staff.

“Claire is always thinking of new ways to not only encourage her students to learn but to inspire her fellow tutors to deliver exciting lessons. As a colleague, she is considerate, inspiring, and supporting. She embraces challenges and tasks (however small) with the same vigour and a ready smile. She is a great addition to our team.

“A colleague describes Claire as a ‘mixture of high energy and fairy dust’ and has had such an impact in her short time with the College. She is always willing to help wherever she can.”

Julie Purdie – ECC Apprenticeships

“Julie goes above and beyond in her role every day. She is always there to support her team, both professionally and emotionally.

“Julie juggles the needs of her team, the learners, the organisation, and employers on a daily basis (which is not an easy task!) and is always there to support anyone in crisis. She is fair and consistent in her approach and wouldn’t ask anyone to do something she wasn’t prepared to do herself. Julie is a hands-on leader with a very big heart.

“Described as ‘an incredible colleague,’ Julie has gone over and beyond with her support and in a very calm and light-hearted manner when the pressure has been on.”

James Acraman – MIS & Exams

“James is always in good spirits and is a cheerful member of the team. He does his work methodically and always with a smile. He is friendly, approachable, and always has a nice welcome for anyone he deals with.

“Having joined us through a placement programme, James has become a valued member of the team and carries out his duties with an air of positivity which lifts those around him.

“James is forever helpful to all his colleagues and he goes about his duties with diligence and a happy disposition every day of the week.”

Diandre Magrin, Sports, Coaching and Exercise Science & Public Services

“Since moving roles in the summer, Diandre has been outstanding and continues to be a huge asset to the College. She strives for nothing but the best for her students and is incredibly supportive and kind in helping them access the support they need to be successful.

“Working with colleagues, Diandre has coordinated meaningful enrichment activity including the ‘Coily Curly Hair’ group and ‘Anxiety Anonymous’, which has been received really well.

“Diandre is hard-working, conscientious, and establishes the most fantastic rapport with all students and staff she comes across. She makes the student experience a great one and deserves to be recognised for her commitment, passion, and drive. She is a true star!”

And finally – The Big One.

Our ONE Award goes to the person or team that colleagues have identified as truly going above and beyond and really adding value to the team in which they work. Our ONE Award winner for 2022 has been nominated by pretty much everyone in their department, and received the most awards we have ever had for one person.

That person is…

Nicki Hewitt-Hart, Creative & Performing Arts

“Nicki is a joyous, positive, caring, and dedicated member of staff. She is incredibly supportive of the team as a whole, and if something needs doing for the students or the department, she will roll up her sleeves and get involved – frequently without even being asked!

“Nicki has embraced every opportunity to extend her understanding of inclusive practice and takes that part of her role very seriously. To help the team, she has taken on responsibilities that go above and beyond her role, from organising trips to communicating with students and parents, as well as heading off issues as they arise. She has also been a welcoming ‘go to’ person for new staff as they settle in.

“Her work on employability and enrichment this year has been outstanding. She has liaised and built relationships with multiple external organisations, including securing one very high-profile speaker which we are excited about.

“Even though Nicki delivers to nearly every group in the department, she still has the capacity to know every single student in the department and genuinely cares and invests in them. One colleague describes her as an ‘all-round good egg’ and so on-brand with her surname! She is supportive, has a good rapport with the students, and covers lessons like a holding midfielder that would be the envy of Jill Scott and Jude Bellingham.

“Nicki takes an active role in supporting and promoting our student LGBTQ+ groups, has introduced wellbeing walks to her coaching sessions, and undertakes additional reading and training to better understand our student cohort and all their unique differences. Integrity, community, and excellence is at the heart of everything she does.”

Congratulations to all of our award winners at our Winter 2022 conference!