The University of Cumbria is proud of the vital and significant contributions our alumni make in positively transforming lives of others.
As the Classes of 2020 and 2021 join our growing University of Cumbria Alumni Association, a special honour has been bestowed upon a former student who is recognised nationally and by her peers in her chosen field – education.
Kerryann Wilson is the recipient of our university’s Alumnus of the Year 2021 Award, which recognises former students who have demonstrated professional success which reflect the vision and values of our institution.
Inspired to become a teacher from her own positive experiences growing up in west Cumbria, Kerryann is now sharing her passion for learning with future generations as vice principal of Energy Coast UTC, Cumbria’s only university technical college for 14-19 year olds.
Entering the teaching profession 11 years ago, having completed her PGCE in English with Media and Drama at the University of Cumbria in 2011.
She continued to progress to complete a Masters in Education, graduating in 2013, followed by specialist leadership National Professional Qualifications that support the professional development of teachers and school leaders.
An English specialist, Kerryann’s impact on her students, peers and community has led to her receiving the gold Pearson National Teaching Award in 2021, being named ‘Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School’.
She was also shortlisted for ‘English Teacher of the Year’ in the 2020 Times Education Supplement Awards; and in October 2018 was named ‘Teacher of the Year’ at Cumbria’s Golden Apple Awards.
Kerryann, from Whitehaven, said: “I am thrilled to receive this prestigious award from the University of Cumbria.
“When I think of my studies here, I look at each course with a real sense of achievement.
“Each has helped pave my career pathway to date, providing me with a first-class education and the necessary foundations to excel professionally.
“My heart has always been in Cumbria: I am immensely proud of my identity and have always been incredibly proud that I had the opportunity to study at a centre of excellence in my home county.
“I look forward to developing a close and purposeful relationship with the University in the coming months and becoming an established partner in the ongoing development and enhancement of the University’s reputation and standing.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank my close colleagues and inspirational Principal, Cherry Tingle.
“She has afforded me opportunities and has challenged me to progress at every stage of my career.
“I dedicate this award to my incredible family because without their love and continuous support I would not have been able to achieve all that I have to date.”
Ruth Harrison-Palmer, director of the Institute of Education, University of Cumbria, said: “Kerryann is a passionate and proud Cumbrian who strives to ‘give back’ in order to develop the potential of young people in her community, with determination to value every learner.
“Recognised by her peers and others for changing lives of those around her, Kerryann is filled with the same sense of pride when her students achieve what they never initially thought possible.
“We’re delighted to bestow this award upon Kerryann, an individual who embodies the values and mission of our university.
“She supports every student through her personal approach, is progressive in her actions by finding creative solutions to challenges, and builds, nurtures and engages with her students and community to help them achieve and succeed.”
Increasing in number each year, the University of Cumbria Alumni Association currently has over 55,000 members including those who studied at its legacy institutions.