IEU member reaches final stage of ‘world’s most dedicated teacher’ award

Learning Coordinator Helen Comerford has been named a finalist in Cambridge University Press' annual search for the world’s most dedicated teacher, thanks to her “love and concern for every student”.

Helen Comerford is the Learning Enrichment Coordinator at Lumen Christi Catholic College in Pambula, a role in which she “is uncompromising in advocating for students with disabilities and has created a truly inclusive environment.”

She also has over a decade of experience as a secondary science teacher and is currently studying for a Master of Education – Inclusive Practice at the Australian Catholic University.

Here is Helen’s nomination
Helen is our Learning Coordinator who daily models a love and concern for every student that comes to her door (and the ones who don’t, but really need her).

From supporting a student who has struggled with their sexuality to counselling students after the loss through suicide of a close friend, Helen walks with students through every difficulty they face and every celebration they share.

She is uncompromising in advocating for students with disabilities and has created a truly inclusive environment for the students.

Helen follows up with the resources and know-how to make changes, recently introducing a course for students to improve their skills for social and academic success. She also facilitated a course for teachers and learning assistants to learn more about behavioural management from a positive and proactive perspective, bringing opportunities for restorative justice in student-teacher relationships. Helen has the rare ability to fuse vision with practicality.

Other finalists include
Tiffany Cavanagh, Trident College Solwezi, Zambia;
Stanley Manaay, Salvacion National High School, Philippines;
John Nicko Coyoca, University of San Jose-Recoletos, Philippines;
Patricia Abril, New Cambridge School, Colombia and
Meera Rangarajan, RBK Academy, India.

You can read all the 2020 finalists’ stories online at

This year, over 6000 award nominations from 97 different countries poured into the Press, each detailing an inspiring story about an extraordinary teacher. A panel of expert judges selected their six finalists from the shortlist released in December, which included two further teachers from Australia, based on whether nominations met the awards criteria. Among the criteria, the judges looked at whether a teacher demonstrated innovative practices, provided fantastic pastoral care and prepared students for their futures beyond school.

The six finalists have won a host of prizes, including class sets of books or digital resources. They will also feature on a thank you page at the front of every new Cambridge University Press Education textbook from May 2020 and receive an invitation to the Cambridge Panel, an online community of specialists that help to shape the Press’ education publishing.

Last year, the 2019 Dedicated Teacher Awards saw maths and accounting teacher Ahmed Saya from Cordoba School for A-Level in Karachi, announced the winner from just under 4000 nominations from 75 countries around the world.
Cambridge University Press