THE headteacher of Burlington Danes School has been made a dame in the Queen's New Year's Honours.
When Sally Coates took over four years ago the school in Wood Lane, Hammersmith, had been in 'special measures' and had a reputation as being among the most troubled schools in the borough.
But after helping transform it into being one of the best, its principle has been made a DBE.
Still in shock, Ms Coates said: "I'm very excited but also very humbled. I feel I don't really deserve this - there are lots of others better than me. I guess it's nice that my headship has been recognised."
From the depths of despair, the transformation of the school into a thriving ARK Academy has been quite striking, and it is now used as a model by other failing schools, gaining a national recognition in the process.
Ms Coates is keen, though, not to take all the glory, and said her, and the school's, achievements wouldn't have been possible without everyone pulling in the same direction.
"I get to bask in the glory but without the staff and the dedication of all the pupils, this would not have been possible. It is a great reflection on everyone at Burlington Danes."
Other local honours included:
Professor Joanna Haigh, Professor of Atmospheric Physics, Imperial College London, for services to physics
"I AM delighted to be given this honour. It was a complete surprise when I came home after a particularly long day at work and found the letter - I still have no idea who nominated me.
"In receiving the award I am happy to acknowledge the great teams of people I have worked with closely over the years - at Imperial College, in the Royal Meteorological Society and in atmospheric and environmental science more widely. I also feel proud to accept it as a member of the minority of female physicists."
Jon McIntosh OBE, former head of London Oratory School, West Brompton, for services to education
EARLS Court-based illustrator Quentin Blake was delighted to be Knighted.
Mr Blake, best-known for illustrating author Roald Dahl's books, said: "The funny thing is that my books are published a lot in France and Germany and I get a lot of letters from people there who think I have got it (the Knighthood) already, so I suppose this kind of regularises it," he said.
"I haven't quite got used to it yet, but I'm very pleased about it. I've already had an OBE and a CBE so it does prepare you for these things."
A FORMER clinical nurse specialist at the hospital, Ms Ardern-Jones is an associate lecturer in cancer genetics and chair of The Royal Marsden’s Arts Forum.
In a trailblazing career she received a distinction for her MSc 'Living with a Cancer Legacy' and in 1996 became the first specialist in cancer genetics at the Trust.
She said: "I am overwhelmed and honoured and thank everyone who enabled me to receive this award. The Royal Marsden has a culture of dedication and care where nurses are encouraged to innovate and make a difference. I dedicate this award to the patients I have cared for and to my oncology colleagues both at The Royal Marsden and others world-wide."
Professor Susan Gibson, Professor of Chemistry, Imperial College London, for services to chemistry and science education
Janet Balyckyi, radiotherapy services director Royal Marsen Hospital, for services to cancer care and radiography
Andrew Robson, from Chelsea, for services to the game of bridge and to charity
Cassa Pancho, founder Ballet Black Notting Hill, for services to ballet
A RENOWNED dance company of black and Asian ballet dancers which has gathered a cult following, Ballet Black was founded by Cassa Pancho in 2001 after she found there was a lack of black ballerinas while studying for her classical ballet degree.
It went from strength to strength and in 2004 she opened Ballet Black’s Junior School in Shepherd’s Bush for children between the ages of three and 12.
Black Ballet is now an essential part of the classical ballet landscape, giving numerous gala performances and securing a season at the Royal Opera House.