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Art teacher is heading off down Mexico way.

Byline: Lindsey Sampson Reporter

A YOUNG teacher has come a long way in a short space of time - and she's about to go a lot further still as she bids hasta luego to Teesside.

Despite Laura Donovan, 26, having been a qualified teacher for only a year, she is already packing her bags for a new challenge - at a school five and a half thousand miles away in Mexico City.

The art teacher, from Acklam in Middlesbrough, admits to being a disruptive pupil in her own schooldays - but now teaches art at Rye Hills School, in Redcar, where she has been nominated for an Inspirational Teacher of the Year award by two of her pupils, in the Evening Gazette's School Awards.

It is a massive turnaround for the young woman who was a self-confessed troublemaker in school. She said: "I was very disruptive and always playing the class clown.

"By the time I was in secondary school most of the teachers had given up on me.

"But there were a few who didn't - and I wanted to make that sort of difference to youngsters' lives. It made me determined to become a teacher too."

Laura began to realise her ambition when she secured a place with the Redcar and Cleveland Teacher Training Partnership (RCTTP): "That course was more important to me than I could ever really say," she said.

"The training is exceptional while the opportunities and experiences offered are outstanding. But the support you get is second to none. They helped me cope with personal problems at home at a time when I was also struggling with the work-k load. They got me through that and I now have a career I love."

RCTTP programme manager Ann Ryalls said: "Laura has done exceptionally well.

"We wish her every success in her exciting career development. But we can honestly say that every year we have an almost perfect record of finding full time employment for our trainees - though this is the first time one has gone to Mexico.

"We will shortly start recruiting the next cohort. Who knows what that might bring?" Laura left Rye Hills this week, and will depart in August to take up a post at the British International school Greengates, in Mexico City.

Laura said: "It's a private school where I will be able to develop my teaching while also practising as an artist. I can't wait to go, I am so excited. But I will be back."
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:1MEX
Date:Jun 28, 2014
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