In the nine years he has spent teaching French at Tanbridge House School, Mark Osmond has carved out a reputation as being an excellent modern languages teacher, with a famously dry sense of humour.
Last year Mr Osmond was recognised for his efforts, as he was awarded the Outstanding Teacher gong at the County Times Community Awards - an evening he said was ‘brilliant, inspiring and well organised’.
He said: “My parents were there and they had both been recently ill, so for them to see it made me really happy.
“I remember feeling a little bit of anxiety because I didn’t want to trip up the steps or say something stupid!
“I thought it was a wonderful event - hearing so many inspiring stories, about the work that goes on in the community and to see those people recognised for the work that they do.”
Popular among Tanbridge House pupils past and present, Mr Osmond, 40, was nominated for the award by students at the secondary school in Guildford Road, Horsham, and five attended last year’s Community Awards to support their teacher.
He added: “It felt quite humbling in a way because I just come to work to do a job that I love and get paid to do.
“I now have an attractive piece of glasswear on my bookshelf, which is a conversation piece and something I am very proud of.”
Described as ‘a bit of a lunatic really’ by a student before last year’s awards, Mr Osmond said he would ‘absolutely encourage’ people to nominate someone for an award this year.
He said: “It sounds like a cliché but it is a real privilege to work with the young people here, and with colleagues who I really admire. To be nominated by students is a real honour.”
Do you know a teacher in the area that deserves to be recognised for their outstanding work? Nominations for this year’s Community Awards have opened and are ongoing.