Berry Hill teacher jets in from Brunei for international award
From Berry Hill to Brunei, teacher Justin Harris learnt everything he knows in the Forest of Dean.
And after 14 years passing on his skills to pupils in Borneo, he was back on familiar shores to pick up an international award on Friday.
Justin, 41, moved to South East Asia in 1999 to take up a position at Jerudong International School, taking with him skills honed from an education at Lakers School in Coleford and an apprenticeship at Xerox in Mitcheldean.
He is now head of design and technology at the school and has made such an impact that he picked up the gong from the UK's Design and Technology Association for being an outstanding teacher in the International Development and Support of Design and Technology category.
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Every previous recipient has been a doctor or professor, making Justin, who lives in Borneo with wife Tamsin – from Bream – and boys Oliver, eight, and Toby, 10, the first "ordinary" winner.
"It's very nice and quite flattering," said Justin, who was home most of last week with parents Bob and Lesley in Berry Hill.
"We've done a lot of hard work in the department over the past few years and I'm pleased that's being recognised.
"The subject was very small initially but we have pushed it and pushed it and made it available to a much wider age range."
His work has secured his team of 12 an excellence mark from Brunei's ministry of education.
He and Tamsin, who also teaches at the school, headed to Brunei to quench their thirst for travel and have made a home there since.
"It's Islamic but it's not strict, it's quite westernised," he said.
"It's very tropical – quite different from the Forest!
"But we come home every summer, we still enjoy it in the Forest."