INSPIRATIONAL Verena Cavalier is overwhelmed after being named the best German teacher in the UK.

Verena, 37, who teaches at Southend High School for Boys, was handed the prestigious award at a ceremony at the German Embassy in London.

The award honours the best and most committed German teachers across the UK.

Verena, who was born in Bavaria, Germany, said: “I’m so passionate, but not just teaching the language.

“I love teaching about the German culture and the history of the country, it’s really important to me.

“The children are very enjoyable to teach - I hope they enjoy my classes.

“The language department have been really supportive.

“They’ve allowed me to run extra curricular classes, start email exchanges with students in Austria, and organise trips to Berlin.

“It’s not all about textbooks and the Second World War, students need to learn about the people too.

“Students taking German at the school have been on the rise and I hope it stays this way.”

Speaking of her pride at the award, she said: “I was so shocked - I didn’t expect to win, there were quite a few people there.

“I was chosen by the Swiss Embassy but it was presented at the Germany Embassy, it was quite confusing.”

Verena studied at the University of Munich before moving to the UK to teach in 2007.

The award ceremony was held at the German ambassador’s residence with an audience of teachers, headteachers, and representatives from the education and language teaching sectors.

Robin Bevan, headteacher at Southend High School for Boys, added: “It’s fantastic for Verena, the staff and the children.

“She’s highly skilled and enthusiastic.

“Languages remain critically important.

“We want our boys to learn languages and be excited by it.

“She’s having a real impact at the school.”

Ambassador Peter Wittig told those gathered: “You are the guardians of the bilateral relations between Germany and the UK, by instilling love and enthusiasm for another country via another language in your pupils.

“You are the best ambassadors between our countries we can hope for.”