Stephen Lester – was recently presented with an exceptional award for his dedication to education and he could not be more delighted.


An award like this is only given to those who show the most outstanding service to their community, so it is no surprise that our business manager, Stephen Lester, was recently awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List of 2018.


Mr Lester said that he did not receive the news until mid-May, a week after the letter had been delivered to his old address, where he lived 2 years ago. When he received a phone call from the Cabinet Office, he was very confused – he told me his thoughts at the time: “What have I got to do with the Cabinet Office?” When finding out the good news, Mr Lester was “really chuffed. It was so unexpected and such a surprise.”


Upon receiving the news, he could not tell anyone straight away – “I was walking around the academy smiling all day and no one knew why.” He could, however, tell his close family who he said were very proud of him. They had told him “no one in the family has ever received something like this.”


Mr Lester made the decision to completely change his career 11 years ago, and over a decade of dedication to being a managing director has clearly paid off – he worked in two other schools before he began working at West Lakes Academy, three years ago, and the academy has surely grown and improved in the past few years, which could not have happened without his work in the school.


Mr Lester is also involved in the Education and Skills Funding Agency Academies Finance and Assurance Steering Group, which looks into improving the systems and procedures of academies all over the country and delivering benefits to the Department for Education. As well as this, he is chairman of one of three sub groups under the steering group. He was nominated for the award by a fellow member of the Department for Education.


Mr Lester says he will find out the date and venue for receiving his award as well as who will present it to him in a couple of months. In July or August, he will travel there to accept the award where he is allowed to bring 3 guests – his wife and two children.


West Lakes Academy’s Principal, Mr Johnson said: ‘He’s such a humble and unassuming chap but a tremendous asset to the education system across the entire country and we’re all delighted that he works at West Lakes Academy! I am honoured to work so closely with him.’


Everyone at the academy – both staff and students alike – is extremely proud of our Business Manager for this tremendous achievement.


Written by,

Emily Cockbain

Social Media Influencer