Previous Learning Professional Award Winners

The Scottish Book Trust Learning Professional Award showcases how one person can have an amazing impact, not just on a school, but also on a whole community.

Deena Wren (2019 winner)

Deena has over twenty years’ experience as a librarian and sits on the senior management team at Beeslack Community High School, Midlothian. She has created a library that is used as a shared learning space by all, and is a welcoming and accessible area for students.

‘As a librarian, Deena goes above and beyond her role. She inspires a love of reading with her personal knowledge of books and through her amazing ‘Read for the Future’ programme. In addition, Deena has produced and delivered wonderful literacy classes that children remember even years later. The sheer popularity of reading in the school speaks for itself: the library is packed all the time. Every pupil has been supported by Deena – she’s the beating heart of the school.’ Karen Atherton, Teacher of English

Video Deena Wren

Sheila Borys (2019 runner up)

Shiela's remit at Craigroyston Primary School is to work with a small number of pupils as a Pupil Support Assistant, but her impact goes throughout the school. She runs a fantastic library with creative book displays, which are constantly updated and a talking point of the whole school.

Emily Sinclair (2019 runner up)

Emily is an inspirational teacher who has gone ‘above and beyond’ to excite a generation of readers in Bankton Primary. She introduced a range of workshops which empower parents to help their children with reading at home, in addition to programmes for pupils such as Breakfast Club Reading and Playground Reading Buddies.

Emma Ritchie (2019 runner up)

Emma works over the whole of Clackmannanshire across 18 primary schools to help them create their own individual reading cultures. By focusing on training staff, she has made a very large impact. For example, schools have introduced projects such as dedicated reading time, buddy reading, and events to celebrate books in school.

Eileen Littlewood (2018 winner)

Eileen has affected real change during her time at Forthview Primary School. Some of her amazing achievements include creating a vibrant school library and transforming attitudes to reading and writing in the wider community by engaging parents in creative writing projects. 

‘Before Mrs Littlewood took me for reading every day, I didn’t enjoy reading but now I know the genre of books I like and read every day.’ Pupil

‘Eileen talked to me about the book café, but it’s no my thing, but she said try it and I tried it.... I related to the girl in the book cause she had depression too like me. It made me want to read more…. It’s helped my mind and my health.’ Parent

Video Eileen Littlewood

Shelagh Toonen (2018 runner-up)

Shelagh is the librarian at Elgin Academy, and has worked tirelessly to develop an inclusive reading culture at the school. Her initiatives included author visits, themed library weeks, new clubs and monthly book talks which inspired pupils to seek out new reading material.

Claire Dancer (2018 runner-up)

Claire is the Curriculum Leader of Support for Learning at Wester Hailes Education Centre, and has dedicated herself to making reading accessible for everyone. Claire set up a paired reading programme for S1 and S6 pupils to develop their confidence and has led many school-wide writing projects. 

Susan Morton (2017 winner)

Susan is school librarian at Inverclyde Academy. In just one year at the school, Susan revitalised the school library, created a comic club to attract reluctant readers and secured a fully-funded residency with a local author.

'Susan took on a library that had been closed for a number of years and in less than a year has made fantastic strides forward with an array of projects for pupils...Susan is a truly inspiring professional.' Panel judge Sean McNamara of CILIP in Scotland

“I’m now writing my own [graphic novel]. Miss Morton is a truly inspirational person. She encourages me every day” S6 pupil.

Video Susan Morton