Kilkenny woman Liz Kett is one of four teachers nationally to be recognised with a Teachers’ Inspire Award for 2021.
Organised and run by Dublin City University, Teachers’ Inspire is an Ireland-wide initiative to celebrate teachers and to recognise the transformative role they play in our lives and communities.
It is curated by acclaimed author Louise O’Neill who has also hosted the Teachers Inspire Podcast, sharing stories of teachers who have made a difference.
The latter has prompted hundreds of nominations since it began in 2019.
Liz, a retired art teacher with Grennan College, Thomastown, was nominated by former student Gerard Kelly who said she provided a safe space for him as he was coming out as a gay teenager in rural Ireland.
“Her room was always open, regardless of if it was anything to do with school or subjects, Liz would take you underneath her wing and just make you feel safe and give you space to grow and be yourself.
‘HELPED ME TO BELIEVE’
“Not only did she become someone in school I felt comfortable confiding in, but she helped me believe in myself enough to get to where I am today.”
Accepting her award, Liz said she was shocked and honoured to have been nominated.
“I think that an award such as Teachers Inspire Ireland might be like a signpost to assure teachers, or anyone working with people, that often it’s the small moments that matter most”
Curator Louise O’Neill told Kilkenny Press: “We received hundreds of entries for the Teachers Inspire initiative and if there was any recurring theme, it was the power of teachers to encourage students to believe in themselves, and how those young people carried that message through their entire lives.”