Sabah teacher wins 2024 Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards

Sabah teacher wins 2024 Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards

KOTA KINABALU: An English teacher at Keningau Vocational College, Sydney Engelbert, has been named the winner of the 2024 Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards.

Sydney, 30, a Kadazandusun from Kampung Kiawayan in Tambunan also emerged as the overall winner, defeating 14,800 nominees from over 140 countries around the globe.

“I am grateful and speechless. For starters, I never would have thought to be selected as the regional winner as other nominees were all amazing, and I am truly honoured to be nominated.

“Yet, the overwhelming support that I have from my family, friends, colleagues and my students made me realise that I am not alone in this, often times, can be a challenging journey,” Sydney was quoted as saying on the Cambridge Dedicated Teacher website.

Inspired by her parents, who were also teachers, she decided to delve into the teaching profession and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in teaching English as a Second Language (TESL).

Sydney started teaching in 2019, where she learned to tackle her students’ limited proficiency through various combinations of language art activities.

“Both of my parents are teachers, and growing up, I have witnessed how many lives they have touched and inspired throughout their careers.

“Despite receiving awards and recognition for their years of service, my parents would often say that the proudest thing about being a teacher is when their former and current students still remember and respect them,” she said, adding that many of their former teachers remember them fondly, which motivated her to pursue the profession.

In 2022, she co-pioneered an online exchange class programme with several vocational schools in Southeast Asia in which each cycle runs for three months, and within two years, the programme has benefitted almost 400 students and 50 teachers from the participating schools.

She also plays an active role in other internationalisation programmes, like hosting foreign students at her school.

Another teacher from Keningau Vocational College, Khalifa Affnan, won the prestigious award in 2022.

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