A teacher from Luton has been honoured by Oxford University for the inspirational role she played for one of her former students.
Christina Pearce, an autism support worker at Luton Sixth Form College, is one of ten state school teachers recognised in Oxford’s annual Inspirational Teachers Awards. She was nominated by Matthew Judson, who is studying at the university.
Mrs Pearce said: “I am so very pleased to receive this award, it is lovely that Oxford recognises that there is more to a successful student than academic prowess, and that support staff play a huge part in enabling student success.
“Matthew Judson’s academic success was always assured, but like most students with a specific learning difficulty he needed a bit of extra help.”
Matthew is studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at Oxford. He said: “My journey from arriving at Luton Sixth Form College as a nervous sixteen-year-old to arriving at Oxford as a nineteen-year-old PPE undergraduate has been a rapid and life-changing one.
“There are many people who contributed to making it such a successful one, but Chris stands out as someone who made an effort to help me settle in as a new student in Luton, who was there for me when I needed support, and who invested in me as a junior member of staff during my gap year. She has been an inspirational influence and has undoubtedly made a significant difference to me.”
The Inspirational Teachers scheme recognises the crucial role teachers and careers play in encouraging talented students in their schools or colleges. The teachers will receive their awards at a ceremony in May.