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“It is the little things we do that make the difference and make people recognize us. If we do our work well as teachers, the children are the very ones who will sell us to the public. Also, as teachers, we should know that we teach more by what we are than what we say,” these were the words of Augusta Lartey-Young, first runner-up at the just ended Ghana Teacher Prize after winning her prize.
Augusta Lartey-Young teaches English Language at the Presbyterian Boys’ (PRESEC) Secondary School (SHS), Accra. She received a 4×4 pick-up vehicle valued at GH¢130,000, a laptop, educational materials, and insurance cover worth GH¢300,000.
From a humble beginning, Ms. Lartey-Young never dreamt of winning the teachers award but through hard work, consistency, commitment to her work, dedication and desire to see her students excel in every aspect of school, she emerged the first runner-up at this year’s Ghana Teacher Prize.
Journey to Becoming the First Runner-Up
Narrating her journey to becoming the first runner-up, Ms. Lartey-Young explained that one fateful day, she was summoned to the Municipal Education Office to present her teaching lesson notes. According to her, management of her school never informed her of what was going on.
“But I owe my Senior House Master, Mr. Dadzie, a lot of gratitude because he offered to drive me to the municipal education office to submit my documents, go through the interview and encouraged me to continue the process when I felt like quitting. There were too many teachers there who had also turned up for the selection interview and the process was too rigorous,” she stressed.
After emerging successful in the municipal’s interview, she was selected with two other teachers to represent the district at the regional level. The journey continued with another set of interviews and processes at the regionals, where she was successfully selected with other colleagues to represent the region at the national level.
At the national level, Ms. Lartey-Young narrated that, she thought that was the end of the process, but to her surprise, they were asked to write long essays on various questions and went through another tough interview session. Through this process, the number was narrowed from 50 to 10. All these interviews were followed by other unannounced inspections at the schools of the finalists.
“I was extremely excited when I was selected among the 10 finalists,” an elated Ms. Lartey-Young said.
The awards were climaxed with a two-day symposium at the M Plaza Hotel, where all ten finalists gave a talk on their career as teachers, outlining their achievements and challenges.
The Last Three
At the awards ceremony, she stated that none of the finalists knew who the winner was since they were all asked to write their acceptance speech and wait for the final day of the event. When the awardees were being mentioned, she at a point knew she would either be the Best SHS Teacher or be among the top three and God being so good to her, she became the first runner-up.
Ms. Lartey-Young started teaching at Jachie-Pramso Senior High School in 2003 at Jachie in the Ashanti Region. Two years after, she left to Armed Forces Secondary School in Accra before joining the Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School.
According to the first runner-up, all the top fifty finalists have applied for the Global Teachers Awards, and she is anticipating that a Ghanaian would win.
Also, together with other awardees, they are planning to hold workshops across the country to share their knowledge with colleague teachers and also make an impact within their field of work.
Furthermore, Ms. Lartey-Young stated that she plans pursuing higher academic laurels within the next six years and also chalk more feats within the education sector.
Ms. Lartey-Young started her basic education from Base Ordinance Depot Primary School, Burma Camp before going to Ghana Secondary School in Koforidua in the Eastern Region for O’ and A’ Level education from 1989 to 1996. In 1998, Ms. Lartey-Young was admitted to the University of Cape Coast and graduated in 2002 with a degree in English and French.
She later continued her education in 2005/2006 academic year for a Post Graduate Diploma in Education, followed by a Master’s Degree in Education in 2011/2012 academic year, all from the same University.
In 2016, Augusta got a scholarship with the Department of State to participate in the Teaching Excellency and Achievement Programme at the California State University, USA. This she said has impacted greatly on her teaching methodology and how to cooperate with students and management. In addition, she was made to understand that her work as a teacher did not end in the classroom; hence, she also facilitated a number of workshops for colleague teachers across the country.
Augusta, a mother of two children – Kwaku and Adwoa, is the second child of a retired High Court Judge, Justice Isaac Lartey-Young and Mrs. Janet Lartey-Young, once with the Ministry of Defense, Burma Camp.
To conclude, she thanked God for the award, her parents for the formidable upbringing, the management of her school and the Ghana Teacher Prize team from the municipal to the national level who co-ordinated this year’s program. She also shares her award and joy with all hardworking teachers of Ghana and all who contributed in diverse ways to her success.