Andria Zafirakou, 39, winner of this year’s “world’s best teacher” competition, who works at Alperton Community School in Brent; makes the top 10 of the Evening Standard’s list of the 1000 most influential Londoners.
Andria Zafirakou has done so much at Alperton Community College.
The school is in Brent, an inner city area of London. It’s one of the UK’s most ethnically diverse – and disadvantaged – places.
Andria Zafirakou was born, in London. Her mother, Anna, is Cypriot and her father Greek who is well known in the community Father Georgios Zafirakou, the priest of the Greek Orthodox church of All Saints in Camden, London. is Greek.
The winner of the Global Teacher Prize 2018 faced a daunting task when she joined the school. The challenges of poverty, gang violence and engaging young people from such a diverse range of backgrounds were all too clear.
But throughout the school and on the streets she is driving change.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid today tops the list Both he and the Duchess of Sussex, who enters the top ten for the first time, have this year shattered out-of-date perceptions of the top of society.
Mr Javid, 48, the son of a Pakistani bus driver, became the first MP from an ethnic minority to hold one of the great offices of state. And former actress Meghan Markle, 37, the daughter of an African-American social worker, was embraced as a senior royal.
This year’s Progress 1000, the 12th, names London’s leading “movers and shakers” from politics, business, media, technology and the arts to celebrate how the capital’s strength is drawn from its remarkable diversity.
A panel of experts helped us select those who did the most to break down barriers and enhance the capital’s reputation as the pre-eminent city of opportunity in the world.
Mr Javid’s appointment as Home Secretary in April marked the most dramatic rise yet in a political career that took off only eight years ago.
The former City investment banker, who was educated at a Bristol comprehensive, is said to have taken a huge drop in income to become an MP, but is now considered a likely Conservative Party leadership candidate. The duchess married Prince Harry at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, in May, in a ceremony that made refreshing breaks with royal tradition, including when American Bishop Michael Curry delivered a rousing sermon.
The Progress 1000, in partnership with the global bank Citi, is the Evening Standard’s celebration of the people who make a difference to London life. #Progress1000
Other names selected by senior editors to appear in the top ten include rapper Stormzy, 25, who this year funded a scholarship for black students to go to Cambridge; Sarah Mullally, 56, who became the first female Bishop of London in March; world heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua, 28, who last month successfully defended his titles; Kamal Ahmed, 50, the BBC’s recently appointed editorial director of news; Deliveroo co-founder and boss William Shu, 38; Cressida Dick, 57, the first woman Metropolitan Police Commissioner; Andria Zafirakou, 39, winner of this year’s “world’s best teacher” competition, who works at Alperton Community School in Brent; and London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Our Progress list this year celebrates the diversity of Londoners — the brilliant people, some born here and others who have moved here, who together make our city so exciting
Evening Standard editor George Osborne said: “Our Progress list this year celebrates the diversity of Londoners — the brilliant people, some born here and others who have moved here, who together make our city so exciting.
“It is a roll call of talent and a rebuff to all those who want to shut Britain off from the world and close our doors to the future.”
The advisers to the judging panel were social entrepreneur Natalie Campbell, director of insight and innovation for the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex; the Standard’s multiple award-winning investigations and campaigns editor David Cohen; writer Catherine Mayer, who co-founded the Women’s Equality Party; commentator Sophie Wilkinson; and novelist and filmmaker Nikesh Shukla.