After reading all of our customers' amazing Star Teacher nominations across our teacher team (some of which genuinely brought tears to our eyes), we here at Puddle Ducks Bristol & Bath were very pleased that the final decision had to be made by our independent judges, Kids of Bath, rather than us!
Lots of you will recognise Diana, pictured with her celebratory bubbly and our owner, Sarah, from her amazing baby and pre-school classes at Woolley Grange Hotel, Larkrise School and Winterbourne Academy.
Here is the winning nomination, made by parents Sarah and Dave on behalf of Thomas, who swims at Winterbourne:
"We would like to nominate Diana from our Kickers class at Winterbourne for Star Teacher. Simply put, Diana is just brilliant. Like all the Puddle Ducks teachers we've encountered, she has boundless patience and enthusiasm, infectiously conveying a love for swimming to the children.
Tom, our son, let's just say often marches to the beat of his own drum. Yet each week, we just mention swimming and he's climbing in the car. He waves at Diana as soon as he sees her, and in the water, he's desperate to swim with her. Under her tutelage he's progressed tangibly and has recently been promoted to the next class. Diana always praises him when he does well, and yet somehow still finds ways to encourage him when "off piste". We've had a couple of classes where he's been the only one in the pool and Diana's energy and commitment are unwavering. The sense of fun Diana brings to every session even survived her being assessed during one of Tom's more "broken arrow" swims!
As parents, we are particularly grateful to Diana whose empathy was instrumental in ensuring the classes for our daughter and son aligned well. We will all miss Diana incredibly as her time covering maternity leave comes to an end at Easter. This term represents our last opportunity to have Diana recognised. Quite frankly it would be a travesty if she doesn't win."
Sophie and Libby from Kids of Bath selected the winning nomination, saying "Diana is clearly adored by her students and parents alike and it's obvious that she is a credit to the Puddle Ducks brand. This is demonstrated through her understanding of individual personalities and nurturing attitude towards them. The progression that students have made under her guidance seems endless as does the lasting impact she has made on those she has taught."
Diana will now be a contender for the national Puddle Ducks Star Teacher award – good luck Diana!