A former soldier who decided to become a teacher is in the running for a national award.
Richard Tuddenham, of St Michael’s Primary School in Flanshaw, is one of two local teachers that have made it to the final of the 2013 Pearson Teaching Awards.
The 36-year-old has worked at the school for three years after qualifying in London when he left the army.
Mr Tuddenham served with the Grenadier Guards for five years, the regiment best known for its red tunics and bearskin hats, famous for the ceremonial role it plays in London.
Before that he toured the world with philharmonic orchestras and ballets as a freelance professional trombonist.
The music and PE teacher, of Denby Dale, said: “I have done some amazing things and used to rub noses with the royals all the time when I was in the army, but teaching is definitely the most rewarding job I’ve had.
“Performing with the orchestras or with the Grenadiers as part of state ceremonies like trooping the colour and the changing of the guard gave me a rush, but the rush I get now from seeing the children doing well is immense.”
Mr Tuddenham was nominated for the Primary School Teacher of the Year Award, by pupil Rian Blaikie who said: “He is the most inspirational teacher my mum and I have ever met. So cool, intelligent, talented and humorous.”
Elle Firth from West Bretton J&I School has been nominated for the Outstanding New Teacher of the Year Award by parent, Steve Care.
He said: “She is such a wonderful teacher in Foundation Stage for our daughter, Madeleine. Thanks to Mrs Firth and her team, Madeleine has loved every minute in class and made massive strides throughout the year.
“A truly inspirational teacher. Thank you.”
Winners will be announced at individual school celebrations, organised by the Pearson Teaching Awards on Friday, May 17, which is ‘Thank a Teacher Day.’