THE nominations for this year's Teacher of the Year are:


For Rob Rastelli, Ulverston Victoria High School is literally a case of “Man and boy.”

The former UVHS student has been on the other side of the desk for the past 22 years and is currently the head of the sixth form and also teaches GCSE chemistry.

But it came as a surprise to be nominated by a mystery nominee.

He said: “I was a little embarrassed when I found out because I think that I have the best job in the school.

“I have worked with some fantastic people, but the children are the real stars.

“They do far more than I ever did when I was at school.

“They do a lot of volunteering and help the community in other ways. They really are a fantastic bunch.

“And that’s why it’s never a hardship to go the extra mile. Anyone who thinks that teaching finishes at 5pm on a Friday is sadly mistaken.

“I have spent the last few weekends helping with UCAS applications. I called one student in France because it has to be right.

“The students are moving on to university, apprenticeships or employment so it’s a very exciting time for them and a privilege for me to be a part of it all.

“To see them develop and grow as students and people is such a huge honour.

“I’m really flattered to have been nominated and it came as a complete surprise.

“There are loads of teachers who are doing fantastic jobs every day so I’m not sure why I have been picked out but I’m very flattered that I have been.

“The ceremony is all about Ulverston and I’m looking forward to hearing all the good things happening in the town.”


In a very short teaching career so far, Nick Hall has proved the ingredients for success are within everyone's grasp.

Nick joined UVHS four years ago as a food technology teacher after a short spell as a chef. After his short spell in the industry, he lost his love for catering.

But he now has his hunger back. He won a Golden Apples Award for the Best Industry Engagement Initiative for his Aroma Catering Academy charity, which helps young chefs fulfil their dreams in the industry by providing money for travel, whites and equipment.

So far, six students have been helped through his academy and Nick is hoping for more.

He said: “It was incredibly humbling to be nominated. I won a Golden Apples Award recently, so to be nominated for a Heart of Ulverston Award is such an honour.

“When I first joined the school, Denis Fay was here and he was such an inspiration. His enthusiasm was infectious, and he left a mark on staff and pupils alike.

“I set up the charity to remove barriers from the children who dreamed of a life as a chef.

“It can be incredibly expensive, so the charity is really making a difference.

“Craig Sherrington, who recently starred on the Great British Menu and runs Virginia House, is an ambassador for the charity and he is a huge boost to what we are trying to do.

“We’ve been able to send students to Kendal College, which is one of the best in Europe, which is fantastic.

“I can’t wait for the awards and hear all the fantastic success stories about what people are doing for the town.”


Church Walk Primary has undergone something of a revolution over the past few years, and it’s been Susan Davies that has led the way.

For more than 100 years, Church Walk, was an infants-only school. But in 2013, the school became a full primary, meaning children can stay at the school for the whole of their primary education.

And Susan, who has been at the school for 24 years, four of them as headteacher, has worked hard to make the transition as smooth as possible for the children while maintaining the family feel.

She said: “I really don’t know why I have been nominated. As far as I’m concerned, I’m just doing my job.

“But to be recognised is just a wonderful feeling. I’ve been to the awards ceremony for the last couple of years and it’s a fantastic event. You hear all the great things people are doing in Ulverston.

“The fact that I have been nominated speaks volumes for the team.

“Everyone has worked so hard to make sure we kept the culture here.

“It was a very popular move and we have a lot of parents and grandparents who came here. Indeed, the rocking horse in reception was there when they came here.

“We are the only C of E primary in Ulverston and we are at the centre of the community for our pupils.

“We’re a big family and I hope we can continue to grow and improve to make us even stronger in the future.

“This nomination is for every child, parent, staff member, volunteer and partner who makes the school what it is.

“We’re only as strong as they make us.”