Clonmel’s Tony Reid is a ‘Teaching Hero’

Tony Reid, School of Health Sciences, WIT received his Teaching Hero award in the presence of USI president Laura Harmon (left); Minister for Education and Skills Jan OSullivan; the Patron of the National Forum, Professor Mary McAleese and Chair of the Forum, Professor Sarah Moore.

A Clonmelman who had a late vocation as a teacher has been rewarded with a national award.

Tony Reid was one of two academics from WIT who were honoured as Teaching Heroes at a special awards ceremony in Dublin Castle.

Tony, who works in the Department of Nursing and Health Care and Olivia Freyne from the Department of Languages, Tourism and Hospitality Studies were nominated and selected by the students of the Waterford college.

“I was surprised but delighted and honoured to win this award. You always think you’re doing the right thing but it’s nice when the recognition comes from the students”, he stated.

Tony Reid is son of Bernie and Chris Reid, originally from William Street, Clonmel and who now live in Waterford. He attended primary school at Ss Peter and Paul’s and secondary at the Central Technical Institute.

He worked as a psychiatric nurse at St. Otteran’s Hospital in Waterford for a number of years before switching to general nursing at Waterford’s University Hospital in 1989.

He did a Master’s degree in psychotherapy at UCC in 1998 and took up a teaching role at WIT in 2002. He is currently completing his PhD.

The National Teaching Hero Awards were established by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education in partnership with the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and other student bodies to explore and celebrate students’ perspectives of great teaching throughout all higher education institutions. The teaching hero award is the first of its kind in higher education in Ireland.

Tony described the awards ceremony at Dublin Castle, which was attended by former President Mary McAleese, who is patron of the National Forum, as a very impressive occasion. He said it was nice to have been recognised in the inaugural awards scheme.

Professor McAleese pointed to the importance of awards such as these in recognising the deeper societal significance of excellent teaching.

“Excellence in teaching is about much more than simply getting students through their exams,” she said. “It is about inspiration, passion, generosity of spirit and a genuine desire to make a positive difference to students’ lives”.