An inspirational maths teacher has received a national award after judges were won over by plaudits from pupils, parents and colleagues.
Mario Monteforte, 28, who has taught at Casterton College Rutland for the past five years ,
has been announced as a Silver Teaching Award winner in the Pearson Teaching Awards 2016.
Thousands of nominations were made, but just 55 teachers across the country received the prestigious award.
After receiving his trophy at the school, in Ryhall Road, Great Casterton, Mario is now looking forward to attending a House of Commons reception for winners on June 30.
He will also attend the UK final of the Teaching Awards to be held at a glittering celebration at London’s Guildhall on October 23, where 10 Silver Award winners will receive a Gold Plato Award.
Mario, who lives in Peterborough, said: “I knew at the end of last year that the principal and head of maths had put my name forward.
“Judges came to the school to speak to pupils, staff and parents and to watch me teach, but after that I heard nothing more until I was summoned to a meeting on Friday afternoon. It was a total shock.
“I’m passionate about maths and believe anyone can enjoy it. Confidence is the key and that’s what I try and instill in the young people I teach.
“I always give 110 per cent and pupils pick up on that and respond in a positive way.”
Mario’s hard work and talent is clearly paying off. Last year, 23 of the 31 pupils in his Year 11 maths group achieved A* GCSE grades, seven got A grades and one got a B.
He added: “I don’t do it for awards, I just love teaching.”
Principal Carl Smith said he was “absolutely delighted”, adding: “We have a really good maths department and Mario is a big part of that. Our results show that, with high quality teaching, anyone can excel at maths. I hope very much he is further recognised at the UK final event in London.”