Fiona McAvoy, Head Teacher at Newton Primary School in Ayr, is now an MBE! Her remarkable achievement was revealed today in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.
The accolade reflects Fiona's drive and determination to help reduce poverty and disadvantage, by supporting children and young people across South Ayrshire.
Fiona works tirelessly to help close the gap and ensure children and families receive the right help, at the right time from the right people.
Over a career which has spanned three decades, Fiona has helped thousands of young people from many different backgrounds realise their potential.
One of her key strengths, noted by Education Scotland, is her partnership working with parents and the wider community. Fiona personifies the principles and values of Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC), and there are endless examples of her going the extra mile to support local families.
Throughout the lockdown, Fiona made sure that her staff maintained daily contact with the school's families. Her support extended to ensuring they all had access to food, clothing, bedding, energy top ups and essential household items.
The MBE also recognises Fiona's belief that good health and wellbeing positively supports children and improves their academic outcomes, and parents appreciate the wide range of opportunities she provides for them. Fiona has taken children and their families to football matches and cultural experiences, such as classical concerts. When a young child from Afghanistan expressed an interest in climbing Goat Fell - Fiona made it happen.
Fiona's willingness to go that extra mile has also seen her help families with universal credit applications, housing, and environmental health issues.
Fiona said: "I am deeply honoured, but I still can't quite believe it. There are so many people doing all they can to help children and families day in day out, I feel really lucky to have been recognised in this way.
"The children will be thrilled, and I would like to thank all the parents, carers and communities I have worked with over the years for their support."
Councillor William Grant, Children and Young People Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council said: "This is a fantastic achievement, and is the culmination of decades of hard work.
"There is no doubt Fiona is a highly effective leader and an inspiration to the school and the wider community. Children respond to her nurturing, caring approach and bubbly personality.
"Her relentless focus on reducing the impacts of poverty and disadvantage has helped so many people."