A London teacher who raised PS100, 000 for survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire and who plays top-level football has been named in the top 50 shortlist for the annual Global Teacher Prize.
Eartha Pond is a finalist in the$ 1m( PS750, 000) teaching competition.
The PE teacher, who plays for Tottenham Hotspur Ladies, is deputy vice-principal at the Crest Academy in Neasden , north-west London.
She says it’s great to see the value of teachers’ run being recognised.
The educators in the final 50 are from 33 countries, in a competition run by the Varkey Foundation with the aim of creating the situation of women the teaching profession.
‘Every day is a lesson’
Ms Pond, who trained as a educator six years ago, has helped to run Girls Allowed clubs in schools, promoting young lady to take part in sport.
As a footballer she played for Chelsea and Arsenal before signing for Spurs – and in teaching she has also been a top performer, with a strong record in results in athletics qualifications.
As a educator, she says “every day is a lesson”. And blending teaching with football, she says can feel like trying to live the lives of two people.
She lives close to the site of the Grenfell Tower fire – and says that when “shes seen” what had happened she began to raise funds.
“I hoped to raise PS5, 000, ” she said. But in the end she collected PS80, 000 and then a school’s sports day and subsistence from local businesses took the total to PS100, 000.
“It’s my community, it was a natural reaction, my people needed help, ” she says of the efforts to support survivors.
Ms Pond is one of four teachers from the UK in the top 50, in a shortlist drawn from more than 30,000 nominations.
Also in the running are 😛 TAGEND Andria Zafirakou, an arts and textiles teacher from Alperton Community School , north-west London. She has learned several languages to engage with local communities and worked to encourage more of her pupils to get university places. Rebecca Cramer, head teacher and co-founder of Reach Academy Feltham, south-west London. In its first GCSE year, 98% of pupils achieved good grades in maths and English. Tuesday Humby, principal of Ormiston Chadwick Academy, Widnes, Cheshire. She has helped to widen the horizons of disadvantaged pupils, with an “enrichment charter” which offers residential trips, theatre visits and an overseas trip-up to Kenya.