Thursday, June 20, 2024

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


Tiffany Cavanagh has been named a finalist in Cambridge University Press’s annual search for the world’s most dedicated teacher in recognition of the difference she makes to her students and the wider community. A public vote is now open to decide who wins, closing 26 January. The Press will announce the overall winner on 3 February.

Tiffany Cavanagh teaches Geography and Travel & Tourism, as well as leading the Duke of Edinburgh and Outdoors Education programmes at Trident College Solwezi, Zambia. She organises a broad range of community work and empowers her students to make a difference to others. Recently, she led her students in cooking for over 400 refugees and helping build much-needed accommodation.

Other finalists include Patricia Abril, New Cambridge School, Colombia; Stanley Manaay, Salvacion National High School, Philippines; John Nicko Coyoca, University of San Jose-Recoletos, Philippines; Helen Comerford, Lumen Christi Catholic College, Australia and Meera Rangarajan, RBK Academy, India. You can read all the 2020 finalists’ stories online at

This year, over 6,000 award nominations from 97 different countries poured into the Press, each detailing an inspiring story about an extraordinary teacher. A panel of expert judges have selected their six finalists from the shortlist released in December 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’s 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 4,000 nominations from 75 countries around the world.


  1. Fabulous and congrats to her.

    So ……how is our indigenous teacher population doing on the world stage? Are they excelling and being noted? I think for a little village child dreaming big, seeing his own achieving is more mentoring. Seeing black Zambians achieving is more uplifting. Fabulous nonetheless.

  2. Her CV is more of a Wildlife environmentalists than teacher, qualified as a teacher in 2016 from UCL Institute of Education, London in 3 years she is finalists in world most dedicated teacher. I think you need contacts for such awards I mean who selects these candidates, there is a Mr Phiri in Katete or Mrs Banda in Mpika who is dedicated how are they going to be nominated. We also need standards in Zambia or Africa, I can not go to UK from Zambia even with my degree and be allowed to teach Primary school pupils I need to obtain UK Professional certification: they would probably allow me to be a Teaching assistant.

  3. Hold your jealousy, Mr Phiri and Mrs Banda are free to contest the award, that is if they are even aware of it. Uk professional teaching standards are better than those at Katete or Mpika.
    I hope she wins so that even Mrs Banda can have hope to win some day

  4. according to some comments here, some pipo ain’t happy about it…..well, all I can say is that God lifts whoever He chooses. …
    congratulations to her.

  5. To all that point out our indigenous teachers need to be recognised YES YES YES!!! The ministry of Education could run such a country wide competition!
    The award is run by Cambridge therefore on this occasion only open to those that teach at Cambridge curriculum schools. ALL head teachers at Cambridge schools received notice of this competition and If they wanted to; asked their staff to nominate and motivate someone for the award (it’s possible someone did vote for an indigo boys Zambian that didn’t make it this far this time) on this accession someone voted for Tiffany and she did get this far!! BRILLIANT.
    Let’s just vote for her so that we get Zambia’s name out on the world stage for something unique and amazingly positive.
    Tiffany once worked in wildlife conservation and turned…

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