FROM an early age, Greg Barker had his heart set on becoming an engineer but, in his final year of high school, he decided to try his hand at teaching and it was one of the best decisions he ever made.

The former St Vincent’s Primary School head teacher, who has won the Warrington Guardian’s Teacher of the Month award, has spent more than 35 years in teaching and said it was a sad moment to close the door on that chapter of his life.

“I couldn’t have done it without the support of the parents, teachers, and governors and, of course, the children,” he said.

Greg, who retired from the post before Christmas after 22 years at the school on Finlay Avenue, said he was flattered that he had been nominated for the award and delighted to have won.

He added: “The children have given me so much joy over the years. It is the children that I will undoubtedly miss the most.”

Greg has worked at a number of schools across Warrington including Ravenbank Primary School for three years, St Alban’s Primary School for eight years and Westbook Old Hall Primary School for three years.

The father of two, from Great Sankey, said the job has given him so much joy over years but had been a lot of hard work.

He joked that he had not been able to put off one of his daughters from pursuing a career in teaching.

Paul, Kierran and Kyle McCracken-Enriquez all nominated Greg for the award, calling him ‘the greatest teacher in the world’ and ‘an excellent role model’.

Despite working ‘exhausting’ hours, the three siblings said Greg was always there to put a smile on their faces and was devoted to improving the school and supporting staff and pupils.

Each month, the Warrington Guardian celebrates the hard work, dedication and achievements of one deserving teacher in the town.

The award, which is sponsored by education recruitment and training consultancy Academics Ltd, honours a teacher who has made a real difference to the school community.