Why Linda’s a top class act in the Bronx

LINDA Wood-Cottier is an inspiration to youngsters in the New York school where she teaches, and now her innovative methods and enthusiasm have been recognised with a major award. She has taught at an elementary school in the Bronx for the past nine years

LINDA Wood-Cottier is an inspiration to youngsters in the New York school where she teaches, and now her innovative methods and enthusiasm have been recognised with a major award.

She has taught at an elementary school in the Bronx for the past nine years, and cannot imagine ever leaving.

The former Queen's Girls' School pupil moved away from Wisbech after marrying an American serviceman. She had a career selling cosmetics to celebrities and taking exercise classes in Los Angeles.

After moving to New York and volunteering to help in her son's school, she realised she needed a change and teaching was the career she wanted to follow. Encouraged by her family, she studied for her bachelor's degree in education at Manhattenville College.

She earned her master's degree by studying at night from

Western Connecticut State University.

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Many of the students who start school in Linda's classroom speak Spanish at home and have only a limited vocabulary in English. She helps them all to excel.

Linda, 60, has been awarded the Teacher of the Year award for an elementary school in The Blackboard Awards 2006.

One of a family of seven, Linda is the daughter of the late Robert and Elsie Wood, of Weasenham Lane. Her father was a well-known haulage contractor.