Ramba Boys High School head teacher, Mr James Okoyo, and St. Theresa Tartar High School teacher, Mr Elijah Ogoti, have won this year’s principal and teacher of the year awards respectively.
When the winners were announced at the Wild Waters in Mombasa where the annual high school principals conference has winded up, teachers from Nyanza broke into song and dance as they celebrated Mr Okoyo’s victory.
“This is just a miracle. I won this year’s principal of the year award (POYA)! I thank God. I joined Ramba Boys High School in January 2011 and I have helped shape the school,” he said as more than 50 of his colleagues congratulated him.
Mr Okoyo, who teaches Mathematics and Physics, said his school emerged top in Rarieda, number two in Siaya and 99 nationally and had a mean score of 7.34.
“I have taught for 30 years in different schools. I won because of team work and early preparation. I followed the scheme well and every error was rectified. Three years ago, I tried but I never went past county levels. But this time, I was more organised,” he said.
He said his win will also motivate other extra county schools to work harder.
“To reach this far, one has to first win at the sub county, county, regional and finally the national level. The secret is teamwork, mentorship, hard work, playing by the rules of the game, trusting God, being extremely good at documentation and lastly starting early,” the principal said.
Mr Ogoti who teaches History and Kiswahili could not hide his joy when he was named the winner in the highly competitive slot.
He said the competition was stiff right from the grassroots to the nationals.
Mr Ogoti told Nation uses audio recordings to teach students.
“I go to a studio, record a lesson and play for my students. I also have a Gmail account where I have saved learning materials that students can access even when they are at home,” he said.
Mr Ogoti who has taught for 20 years added: “I use a variety of professional tools in my teaching which are compliant to teacher performance appraisal and development. I keep track of students on their performance,” he added.
The award for the (information, communication and technology) ICT teacher of the year went to Mr Maxwell Kayesi of Karuri High School in Kiambu.
Mr Kayesi, who has taught Physics and Chemistry for 13 years including at Alliance Girls High School and Muslim Girls Secondary school, emerged the best innovative teacher in classroom practices.
“I produce high technology equipment through improvising everything that I get in my environment to make my learners understand,” Mr Kayesi said.
The winners got Sh100,000, a laptop and books.
Teachers Service Commission director of teacher management, Ms Mary Rotich, said northeastern region did not present any candidates in the competition.