A DEDICATION to education has earned South Tyneside College boss Lindsey Whiterod an OBE in the New Year Honours list.
Ms Whiterod, who trained to be a solicitor and began her career as a law lecturer at the college in 1994, has been honoured for services to further education.
She has worked at senior management level in the sector since 2000, when she became director of the school of business, management and computing at Newcastle College.
After three years she joined New College Durham as deputy principal, before returning to South Tyneside College as principal and chief executive in October 2009.
She has since implemented a range of far-sighted improvements, including capital refurbishment and estate rationalisation programmes in excess of £14m.
The introduction of a quality improvement programme in all provision has led to a rapid rise in standards and an improved Ofsted rating of “good”.
The college, in St George’s Avenue, South Shields, which has 4,000 students from 96 countries, is also rated financially outstanding by the Government’s Skills Funding Agency.
It also sponsors Ridgeway Primary Academy in Park Avenue, South Shields, as part of its commitment to the community and in driving up educational standards.
Ms Whiterod has also displayed a huge commitment to South Shields Marine School, which is part of South Tyneside College, by developing its world-renowned brand into new markets in countries such as China, Nigeria, India and Bangladesh.
The 43-year-old said: “This is a tremendous honour and indeed a great surprise. It is a very proud moment for me.
“I was taken aback when informed, but I can see that I have been part of many good and positive advances and initiatives which I hope have benefited the students, lecturers and other staff that I have worked with.
“I have enjoyed a very happy and satisfying career and every stage has brought rewards as well as challenges, but I consider my best achievement to have been the driving up of standards at South Tyneside College as part of a wonderful team.
“Our work means it is now a high-performing college whose students do better than at any time, and the college is financially strong despite a difficult funding environment.
“The hard work and dedication of many people is paying rich dividends and we have created an environment for learning of which we can all be very proud.
“Indeed, the Government’s Business Secretary, Vince Cable, recently described the college as ‘inspirational’, which shows just how far we have come and how well thought of we are at the very highest level. Fresh challenges undoubtedly await, both personally and for the college, and I am very much looking forward to the future and all that it will bring.”
No date has been set for Lindsey’s investiture, but it is expected to be by the summer.
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