The Education Department of Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) on Friday recognised the exceptional performances of teachers, students and athletes in their annual Regional Award Ceremony, held at the Aracari Resort at Plantation Versailles, WBD.Proceedings were held under the theme: “Rewarding success and dedication,” and the ceremony was conducted in the company of First Lady Sandra Granger, officials of the Education Ministry, teachers and students from across the region, and the regional executives.The event covered the distribution of awards for both 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic years, since there were some setbacks in the event last year. Nevertheless, pledges were made to continue this annual tradition.Regional Education Officer (REDO) Anesta Douglas was among the list of invitees, who expounded on the works of the educators throughout the region to produce remarkable results.She remarked, “We want to recognise all our teachers who have contributed in one way or the other towards the development of education in this region. Our teachers have been in essence a strength and a great pillar of support to all of us throughout those two academic years.”As she indicated, there have been changes in technology throughout the past few decades, with the transcendence from cassette players to smartphones, and theThe teachers and students who were awarded for their successful workFirst Lady called on the students to utilise these resources.“This is the age of technology, and so we have to constantly upgrade our skills and learn new ones if we want to remain relevant in the modern workforce. Technology has opened the doors for innovation in so many aspects,” the First Lady said. Encouragements were also echoed for girls to complete their secondary education programme, which would reduce the scourge of teenage mothers and other social issues.“I urge you to think beyond today, and imagine what you will want to be a few years down the road. Focus on the skills that will help you to get employment after you leave school, and recommit your time and efforts to reaching a high performance in subsequent examinations.”Some of the categories for the awards included teachers who would have produced excellent grades at the national examinations; exceptional work in the Education Management Certificate Programme; recognition of teachers who would’ve served 27 years and counting; outstanding performances by students; and appreciation to stakeholders who would’ve assisted the region’s education sector.Ten students received awards for their performance at the CSEC level, inclusive of the Arts, for 2017 and 2018; as well as the top performers for each secondary school at the CSEC level.Top performers from the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) were also recognized, and awards were given to the most improved schools at the nursery, primary and secondary levels, as well as both male and female champion athletes for 2017 and 2018.Some of the teachers who were recognised for their service were Gita Dudnath Ramotar, Althea Daniels-Stuart, Alana Fingall, Melanie Bumbury, Latoya Bostou, Roslyn Glasglow, Latoya Clarke and Vineta Juman. The Department also acknowledged 52 retired teachers who taught at the nursery, primary and secondary levels.Thakoordine Persaud of Cornelia Ida Primary School attained the top prize for the National Grade Two Assessment, while Darren Ramphal of Leonora Primary was awarded in the National Grade Assessment category for the region, and Colin Osborne of La Harmonie Primary for the riverine area.The most improved schools this year was Parika Back Nursery, Greenwich Park Primary, and Stewartville Secondary.