Congratulations to our Cognita Awards for Excellence 2015 Finalists

Congratulations to our Cognita Awards for Excellence 2015 Finalists

Cognita is delighted to announce the regional finalists for the Cognita Awards for Excellence 2015. The annual awards recognise and reward our very best teachers and staff whose work inside and outside the classroom exemplifies excellence and provides inspiration to others.

Leaders from each of Cognita’s schools were invited to nominate teachers and staff who have consistently demonstrated a commitment to the highest standards of academic provision in the categories of:

  • Early Years Practitioner of the Year
  • Primary Years Teacher of the Year
  • Secondary Years Teacher of the Year
  • Learning/Specialist Support Practitioner of the Year
  • Non-teaching School Support Person of the Year
  • Head/Regional Office Support Person of the Year

Cognita’s educational leadership teams in Asia, Europe and Latin America selected finalists for their respective regions. Now a judging panel comprising Cognita’s leaders and experts in the areas of education, human resources and school management will select the overall winners, which will be announced at a gala ceremony for the finalists on 14 May at Stamford American International School in Singapore.

The Cognita Awards for Excellence 2015 regional finalists are:

Early Years Practitioner of the Year


Katie Copeman
Duncombe School, Hertford, UK

Katie Copeman is a key member of the Leadership Team at Duncombe School. In her first year as Head of Early Years Foundation Stage, she gained an ‘Outstanding in all areas’ inspection rating, which contributed to the school’s full inspection with a matching outcome. A natural leader with a dynamic, can-do attitude that is applied with significant sensitivity and understanding, Katie makes the entire Treetops environment wonderful for both pupils and staff.


Camila Faria
Escola Cidade Jardim/PlayPen, São Paulo, Brazil

Camila Faria is a seasoned professional in education. In the five years that she has been at Escola Cidade Jardim/PlayPen, she has successfully earned the respect and recognition of fellow educators and parents alike. Camila spares no effort to ensure her pupils receive the best possible attention and education. PlayPen is proud to have her in the team and feels that her teaching practice genuinely reflects the school´s ethos.


Alison Moy
Stamford American International School, Singapore

An Early Years practitioner for 35 years, Alison Moy of Stamford American International School is passionate about working with young children. She believes in the importance of learning through play and inquiry and supporting the holistic development of every child as they embark on their lifelong learning journey.

Learning Support Person of the Year


Tracey Abbott
Akeley Wood Junior School, Milton Keynes, UK

Tracey Abbott is a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field of SEN. Tracey is passionate about understanding the factors that influence children’s learning. She works tirelessly to develop the confidence of SEN pupils, enabling them to feel respected and valued. Tracey believes that with the right support and nurturing, their personalities and abilities will shine through and they can achieve great things.


Valéria do Rêgo Barros
Instituto GayLussac, Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Over the past 14 years, Valéria Barros has developed a distinctive bilingual programme at Instituto GayLussac which enables students to learn through play. As Coordinator of the programme and Head of English, Valéria is dedicated to finding innovative ways for students to best learn a second language.

Valéria is an outstanding professional who puts all her efforts into promoting a positive environment not only for students, but for teachers and other members of the staff. She is a strong leader, always encouraging and closely involved with her team of teachers, and has overseen successful growth of the bilingual programme at GayLussac.


Deborah Duffield
Australian International School, Singapore

An integral part of the teaching staff at the Australian International School, Deborah Duffield has been in the Learning Enrichment Department for the past six years. Deborah is passionate about striving to ensure all children have the opportunity to achieve their potential. She is held in high regard by both parents and colleagues and has an ability to capture the student voice by providing real opportunities for students to be heard.

Primary Years Teacher of the Year


James Hardy
International School Saigon Pearl, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

A first grade teacher at International School Saigon Pearl, James Hardy combines high expectations and data-driven instruction in order to differentiate learning according to his students’ diverse needs. He is a teacher who embodies the concept of a lifelong learner, inspiring and motivating students to reach their full potential, 100 percent of the time.​


Joel Heagney
Hastings School, Spain

Joel Heagney has experience teaching in Key Stage 1 and 2 and is currently a Year 6 teacher at Hastings School. In this role he combines his passion for experiencing different cultures with his affinity for teaching. Joel is also a keen sportsman, having played National League Hockey in England, and he organises the Hastings School Ski Trip to Formigal.


Carolina Vargas
Colegio Manquecura Valle lo Campino, Santiago, Chile

A teacher at Manquecura Valle lo Campino School since 2005, Carolina Vargas has grown in her role by learning from each opportunity with her peers and students. She takes advantage of all school projects and initiatives and has successfully led several leadership and entrepreneurship workshops for her students. Always willing to help and innovate, Carolina has this year taken over the role of Deputy Director for Primary Education at her school.

Secondary Years Teacher of the Year


Lara Boyer
North Bridge House Senior School, London, UK

Lara is a highly respected and dedicated member of the North Bridge House School community. She has taught French and Spanish and led the Modern Foreign Languages Department at the school for the past 10 years and she is held in high regard by parents. She strives to ensure that all students reach, if not exceed, their potential and that opportunities for travel, where language immersion is made possible, are included in their linguistic journey.


Nick Frost
St. Andrews International School Green Valley, Rayong, Thailand

A Secondary Science teacher for 27 years, Nick Frost currently teaches IB Chemistry and Physics as well as junior Science at St. Andrews International School Green Valley. He describes the favourite part of his job as seeing students progress and reach their true potential, as exemplified in the before-school and weekend classes he’s run for students doing single-entry IGCSE exams in years 8/9/10 and the science fair he set up that now involves other schools from the Bangkok and Eastern Seaboard region.


Ricardo Viz
Instituto GayLussac, Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Ricardo Viz of Instituto GayLussac is enthusiastic about the art of teaching. Ricardo relishes challenge and is always finding ways to demystify the teaching of mathematics. He is extremely committed to his pupils’ needs and continuously seeking to improve their experience by creating multidisciplinary projects and participating in national and international projects.

Non-Teaching School Support Person of the Year


José Carrasco
Colegio Manquecura Ciudad de los Valles, Santiago, Chile

José Carrasco has a 15-year history in the Pumahue and Manquecura schools, joining in 1999 as a Porter at Pumahue Peñalolen School and then moving to Manquecura Ciudad de los Valles in 2005. He stands out for his spirit of service and commitment. José is known for being proactive, always aware of the school’s needs and offering creative solutions that contribute to smooth operations.


Gini Garside
Huddersfield Grammar School, Huddersfield, UK

Gini Garside is Registrar, Marketing and Headmaster’s PA at Huddersfield Grammar School. She joined Cognita in 2005 as office receptionist and school secretary and was promoted to her current role in 2010. Gini plays a key role in school successes, the reward for which she describes as seeing the students develop and grow. She works hard to ensure that all children get the same opportunity.


Sorot Osathanugrah
St. Andrews International Sathorn, Bangkok, Thailand

Sorot Osathanugrah has worked for the St. Andrews International schools for over 18 years. He is responsible for coordinating a whole variety of areas to ensure the smooth daily operation of the Sathorn campus. An asset to any team, Sorot is respected by every member of staff at Sathorn for his dedication and humour, even in the most stressful situations.

Head/Regional Office Support Person of the Year


Berioska Vaccaro
Cognita regional office, Santiago, Chile

Personal Assistant Berioska Vaccaro embodies ​​Cognita’s values of Accountability, Excellence and Collaboration in our regional office in Chile. She is respected by every member of staff in the Chile office as well as schools for the care and support she gives to any situations that arise, from HR issues to travel arrangements, events coordination and many other administrative activities that are crucial day to day.


MAR 31   /  
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