A teacher has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s New Year honours.
Carmen Patel, of Priors Walk, Three Bridges, received the award for services to education after being nominated by her principal, Andy Booth.
Mrs Patel, who teaches maths and English at the Oasis Academy Coulsdon, said she was ecstatic and surprised after receiving a letter from the Cabinet Office in November, as she had no idea she had been nominated.
Her role as Family Leader saw her guide the academy students through their crucial GCSE exam year. She was one of 20 Sussex people to be honoured.
Mrs Patel said: “I was ecstatic that I had been selected and also humbled by the fact that I was able to make a contribution to the lives of many young people who I had taught and worked with for decades.
"Teaching has always been both my passion and my challenge. Making a difference to the lives and the opportunities for the young people in my care has driven my passion.”
Mrs Patel said she had been teaching English and maths since 1978 and would continue “for the foreseeable future with pleasure”.
She added: “We have maintained at school the concepts of family, caring and supporting each other, tough love, striving for excellence, inculcating a sense of self-belief and success. Working and forging links with families of our students are also significant and their support has been invaluable.
"Working and forging links with families of our students are also significant and their support has been invaluable.
"Having the opportunity on a daily basis to work with young people has always been a great experience that I have embraced and I have tried to embed in them a love of learning that will serve them throughout their lives.”
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