MA Education student Sam Stones graduates today with a distinction having continued to work in a full-time role as Associate Leader in Maths, Computing, Economics and Business at Norton College in North Yorkshire.
26-year-old Sam completed his PGCE Business and Economics at Leeds Trinity and since qualifying as a teacher in 2015, has already made a big impact in his teaching career. Alongside his role, he has researched the progression and support of white working-class boys, led an international four-week residential trip to Borneo, written for education journals and published a positive mental health book series.
His latest work, Supporting LGBTQ+ inclusion in Secondary Schools, co-written with Professor Jonathan Glazzard at Leeds Beckett University, outlines a whole-school approach to LGBTQ+ inclusion through student engagement and partnerships with external organisations.
During his final year of master's study, he wrote a dissertation focusing on teacher retention and the lived experiences of LGBTQ+ teachers, which he submitted four months ahead of the deadline and was marked as 'exceptional' having achieved 95%.
Sam's passion and commitment to secondary education has been highly recognised; he won
Malton and Norton Teacher of the Year in October 2018, and last month he received the award for North Yorkshire Classroom Teacher of the Year for secondary education.
Sam said: "Leeds Trinity has played a significant role in my professional development as a teacher and Associate Leader. I chose to study for my PGCE at Leeds Trinity because of the University's excellent reputation as a provider of initial teacher training education and its outstanding employability figures."
He added: "The University equipped me with the confidence and skills to carry out my role as a teacher and has helped me throughout my pursuit of further qualifications and responsibilities within the education sector."
Jeff Potter, Academic Group Leader of the Institute of Childhood and Education, said: "Sam has been an outstanding student – hard-working, diligent, and enthusiastic, it was a real pleasure to support him in his developing academic career. Sam's research was original, exemplary in its planning, execution and presentation. Tutor feedback highlighted that it was a clear, passionate and comprehensive analysis with a strong sense of integrity and quiet sophistication. For such a problematic and emotive topic, Sam's paper presents an objective and coherent argument on what is an important social justice issue."
In today's ceremony, Sam will be awarded the Vice-Chancellor's Prize for outstanding academic performance in recognition of his results in the final examinations. Sam hopes to progress in his career as a leader of education, pursue senior assessment opportunities and further his work with Initial Teacher Training (ITT) students across subjects and age-phases. He has also secured a scholarship to complete an EdD study at Leeds Beckett University to become a Doctor of Education.