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Northern Regional College Staff Awards


Group holding a certificate

The Chair of Northern Regional College’s Governing Body has paid tribute to the College’s curriculum and professional services staff. Speaking at the presentation of the annual staff awards, Ken Nelson, MBE, said staff worked relentlessly to ensure that every learner is supported and encouraged to reach their potential, adding that this was no mean feat, given the budget restraints and challenges faced in the public sector, and in particular, FE Colleges.

Congratulating the award winners, he said their outstanding example was a testimony of their resilience and commitment to students.

Mr Nelson continued that the College’s planned campus developments would provide innovative and world-class education and training opportunities:

“We are at a very exciting juncture and there is no doubt in my mind that we will continue to deliver lifelong learning opportunities for all, through innovative, high-quality education and skills training, supporting the Northern Ireland economy to be globally competitive.”

A total of 112 nominations were received for the 14 award categories. Speaking on the Awards, Principal and Chief Executive, Mel Higgins commented, “It is uplifting that our Staff Awards are very well supported and highly regarded, as staff propose their colleagues for recognition.

We revised our College values, while developing the Strategic Plan in 2022, to include respect, inclusivity, collaboration, excellence, integrity and ambition. I was delighted to see examples of each value on display, evident through the recipients’ approach to their colleagues, our students and their role.”

With a 100 per cent completion rate for electrical apprentices, the Curriculum Team of the Year went to the Electrical Installation Team of Michael Breen, Paul Gordon, Kris Kelly, Gregory McLaughlin, Ian Thompson and Iain McCart.

The Beauty Therapy team was highly commended. Team members include Caitlin Lynn, Elaine Patterson Barr, Leanne Clydesdale, Sharon Eatwell, Amanda Black, Marlene Robinson, Alison Jackson, Kelly Allen, Rachel Evans, Margaret Hall, Kirsty Gracey and Charlene Balmer.

Lynsey Sloan, Head of Health and Social Care and Access, received two awards for both New Start of the Year and Leadership.

The other award winners were:


Winner - Health and Social Care Team (Annemarie McAleese, Shona Wilson and Roisin O’Hare)
Highly Commended - Joanne McCourt, Principal Lecturer, Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Teaching and Learning.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Champion

Winner - Seán Fisher, Education Support Co-ordinator
Highly Commended - Hayley Millar, Inclusive Learning lecturer

Excellence in Supporting Student Experience

Winner - Fiona Johnson, Education Support Co-ordinator
Highly Commended - Sheena Bradley, Inclusive Learning lecturer

Excellence in Teaching Innovation

Winner - Karla Kosch, Manufacturing Engineering lecturer 

New Start of the Year

Winner - Lynsey Sloan
Highly Commended - Arianna A’Reina, Assessor.   

Professional Services Team Member of the Year

Winner - Pamela Steele, Business Engagement Officer
Highly Commended - Dominic O’Hagan, Manufacturing Technician

Project-Based Learning Champion

Winners - Chris Keating, Built Environment lecturer and Elaine Hegarty, Childcare lecturer
Highly Commended - Angela J. O’Neill, Inclusive Learning lecturer.

Team Player of the Year

Winner - Cormac McWilliams, Caretaker
Highly Commended - Jenny Hutchinson, Health and Social Care lecturer

Best New Course

Winner - Level 4 Certificate in Adverse Childhood Experience
(Roisin Walker, Meabh O’Reilly, Lisa Keith, Catherine Murray and Fiona Coulter)

Professional Services Team of the Year

Winner - MIS 
(Suzanne Graham, Aileen O’Boyle, Cara Reynolds, Mary McCloskey, Anne-Marie Pennycook, Adele Brennan, Marie McMullan, Bronagh Williams, Glenyss Glass and David McQuillan)
Highly commended - Newtownabbey Caretaking Staff
(Cormac McWilliams, Henry Molloy, Ian Nash and Mark Hollis)

Excellence in the Community and Society

Winner - Aoife Sweeney, Animal Management lecturer
Highly Commended - Marie Donaghy, Project Manager.


Winner - Lynsey Sloan

Lecturer of the Year

Winner - Paul Garrett, Uniformed Protective Services
Highly Commended - Caroline McVey, Childcare lecturer