A DEDICATED Port teacher being nominated for the Greenock Community Champion Awards is ‘music to her ears’.

Julie Ballantyne, who is the principal teacher of music at Port Glasgow High School, says it was a surprise to be nominated in the Teacher of the Year category.

Miss Ballantyne, who has worked at the school since 1996, was nominated by Maureen Williams, who works in the school kitchen.

She said: “I was really taken aback.

“It’s such an honour – and a lovely surprise.”

Maureen said: “Miss Ballantyne deserves to win.

“She is definitely the teacher that anyone should want with her compassion, her passion for music and her desire to see pupils succeed.

“You can see the delight on her face when she watches her pupils perform.

“She loves her job and that shines through.

“There are many pupils who will tell how much Miss Ballantyne has inspired them.”

She said: “She works tirelessly. She teaches all day then after school, during dinner times and even at weekends, she even uses her free time to teach the children who have joined bands.

“She coaches the soul band, the wind band, the junior orchestra and many more.

“The junior orchestra is particularly special as the children from Port High School and Craigmarloch work all term practicing tunes to play at the Inverclyde Music Festival.

“She took a crowd of pupils to the Glasgow European Championships at the summer and entertained the crowds.

“This shows the respect her pupils have for her to give up their summer holidays to perform just because she asked.

“She has such patience, kindness and compassion for everyone she meets.”

Miss Ballantyne says she absolutely loves her job.

She added: “Port Glasgow is a fantastic community.

“Sometimes you see pupils who think they can’t do very much and then they blossom.”

Head teacher Stuart Clark says Miss Ballantyne is a credit to the school.

He said: “I am delighted she has been recognised. This nomination is deserving for her hard work, huge efforts and inspiring approach to teaching our pupils.

“Our motto in Port Glasgow High School is Success for All and no one sums up the work to achieve this better than Julie.”

Entries for this year’s Greenock Telegraph Community Awards are open until Wednesday March 13.

To nominate go to www.newsquestscotlandevents.com/events/greenockcommchamp/