THE transformation of the Cardinal Newman Catholic High School library was just one of reasons why John Darbyshire won the Unsung Hero award at the Warrington Guardian Schools Awards.

Our judging panel was faced with a multitude of strong nominations for midday assistants, club leaders, PTA volunteers and support staff but John stood out from the rest.

Those who nominated him say he makes a real difference to the lives of his students every day.

Having transformed their library into a hub of activity, our winner also runs a reading programme which has seen reading levels across the school increase dramatically.

Not only a school librarian, his other achievements include mentoring pupil premium students, setting up the school’s successful Duke of Edinburgh programme and school council, and running an eco warriors team that have so far planted 350 trees around the school grounds.

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In his spare time he can be found supporting trips or on the sidelines cheering the sports clubs on to victory.

He also works tirelessly for the benefit of the wider Latchford community.

Relentlessly positive and an excellent role model, his colleagues said they were incredibly lucky to have him.

John, 38, who was taken by surprise said: "I’d like to thank my family and my partner- we get married in a couple of weeks and I’m surprised she ever sees me because I’m at Newman quite a lot!

“I’d like to thank my colleagues and my head teacher as well for putting me forward for this award. I just didn’t expect to be here.

"There are so many amazing people but most of all it’s the kids.

"That’s why I do it, the kids at school are just amazing, they are fantastic."

Highly commended in the Unsung Hero category was Darren Willcock, school attendance officer at Sir Thomas Boteler CE High School, for his contribution to the school’s success.