Recognition for St Albans, Wheathampstead, Radlett and Harpenden residents in Queen’s Birthday Honours list

PUBLISHED: 15:00 16 June 2016

Former Vice Chancellor at Anglia Ruskin University, Professor Michael Thorne, has been awarded a CBE for his contribution to higher education

Former Vice Chancellor at Anglia Ruskin University, Professor Michael Thorne, has been awarded a CBE for his contribution to higher education

Photographs copyright © Anglia Ruskin

A school secretary sits alongside a head teacher and a university professor in being recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Richard Hill, headteacher at Colnbrook Special School for 20 years, received an OBE for his services to educationRichard Hill, headteacher at Colnbrook Special School for 20 years, received an OBE for his services to education

Diana Burdett, of Southdown, Harpenden, has received the British Empire Medal (BEM) after working with schools for more than 40 years.

For 12 years, she worked as a school secretary at Manland School (now Sir John Lawes) and has been school secretary at The Grove Infant and Nursery School for 30 years.

Diana, 71, who has worked under four different head teachers during her time at the school, said: “I was nominated by the governing body in recognition of coming and doing my very best each day.

“It was an honour being recognised, I just think I come and do my job and that there are loads of people in this world that should be recognised.

Diana Burdett has worked at The Grove Infant and Nursery school for more than 30 years and has received the British Empire Medal for her services to educationDiana Burdett has worked at The Grove Infant and Nursery school for more than 30 years and has received the British Empire Medal for her services to education

“Working at The Grove has been a wonderful experience. When I first started we were in the days of carbon paper and now we are in a really high-tech world, it’s really changed.

“Obviously the school has had to move with the times but there’s still this lovely family and community feel.”

Richard Hill from Harpenden, who was headteacher of Colnbrook Special School in Watford for 20 years, has been award an OBE in recognition of his services to education. He now works on a part time basis at Herts county council supporting a number of special schools, developing their teaching and learning provision.

Richard said: “We [Colnbrook] were judged by Ofsted to be outstanding consecutively for four years.

“It was the best job in the world and it was an amazing bunch of people that I worked with, including the kids, staff and parents.”

A CBE was awarded to the former Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University, Professor Michael Thorne, of St Albans for his contribution to higher education.

A spokesperson for the university said: “Professor Thorne led Anglia Ruskin University from 2007 until March this year and played an important role in establishing the dynamic, vibrant and entrepreneurial community that is Anglia Ruskin today.”

Also recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list were:

* David Whiting from Radlett, a tax director at the Office of Tax Simplification, who received a CBE for his services to tax simplification.

* Keith Brown from Wheathampstead, chair of governors at the College of North East London, who was awarded an MBE for his services to higher education.

* Barry Smith, from Harpenden, who is also the co-founder of Skyscanner, a digital travel company, who was honoured with an MBE for his services to technology and travel.

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