Smithills School musical director Chris Wormald has plenty to celebrate this week after being named the region's top teacher.

Chris and the school's Senior Brass Band return to the classroom today after taking part in the 1997 World music Concert in Kerkrade, Holland.

And he will be greeted with the news that The Disney Channel have named him "Teacher of the Year for the North West."

Chris will receive his certificate plus a £2,000 bursary for the school during a presentation on Thursday.

Throughout the country more than 1,000 teachers were nominated for the award. Former pupil Kaye Masters put Chris' name forward.

"Before Chris' arrival, Smithills had little musical activity, but within weeks of his appointment we had a brass ensemble, a choir and the beginnings of what we have today - three award winning concert, brass and dance bands," said Kaye.

"I cannot remember a school concert that has not been a sell-out success!"

Chris will now go forward to be considered for the title The Disney Channel 1997 Teacher of the Year, to be announced in the Autumn.

If chosen he will gain a further £8,000 for the school, plus an invitation to attend the American Teacher Awards in the USA.

Meanwhile Chris and the Smithills School pupils will be the subject of a specially made programme to be screened on the Disney Channel.

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