Last Sunday, 21 October, Aylesbury primary school teacher Cinzia Imbriano won the national best new teacher award for 2018.
The Pearson Awards ceremony, often called 'the Oscars for teachers', was held at The Brewery in London and was hosted by Anita Rani, presenter of Countryfile, and Sean Fletcher, presenter of Sunday Morning Live.
The teacher at Green Ridge Academy was informed that she had been shortlisted back in April but only learnt she had won on Sunday night when her name was called out.
Reacting to her achievement, she said:
"It's all a bit breathtaking really - I can't believe that this is happening."
Cinzia was presented with the award by Poldark actors Heida Reed and Christian Brassington. However, this isn't where her brush with fame ends as the award ceremony will be broadcast at 6pm on BBC2 this Sunday evening, on a show called 'Britain's Classroom Heroes'.
During the show, teacher and students alike provided some incite into Cinzia's success. The star teacher said:
"If you give them a puzzle, if you give them it in a different way, then you can still give them enjoyment."
One of Cinzia's pupils, Daniella, confirmed this is working:
"She let's us have fun in lessons while learning."
The 25 year old, who began working at Green Ridge when it opened in September 2017, said that she knew about ten years ago that she wanted to become a teacher:
"I decided I wanted to be a teacher while I was at secondary school because I felt my education at that time was really heavily focused on grades and I didn't think that was the way education should be, so I decided I didn't want other children to experience what I had."
While talking to Cinzia it was clear that she hasn't lost any of that initial focus or passion. Looking to the future and what winning this prestigious award might mean, she said:
"There's lots of difficulties in teaching with recruiting and keeping them at the minute and I think it really needs to change. I want to play a part in that so it's just amazing that this is happening to me because I'm hoping it gives me more of a chance to help facilitate change."
Just as when I interviewed her after her nomination, the key stage one teacher (five to seven year olds) was keen to heap praise upon others – not least her partner!
"I forgot to thank my partner, James, which I feel awful about because he has put up with me all this time and all the hard work that it's taken, and my family obviously, and the team at Green Ridge who have been amazing."
The Teaching Awards Trust was established in 1998 by David, Lord Puttnam CBE, as a means of recognising and celebrating excellence in education. The Awards honour outstanding teachers and teaching and highlight just how vital success in education is to the health and wealth of the UK.
It's only fair that the final word should go to those who really matter - the pupils. Janet said of her teacher:
"She's always kind and her outfits are very nice!"