BBC Breakfast's business reporter Steph McGovern has returned to her old primary school to mark its conversion to an academy.
Steph, who grew up in Middlesbrough, made a short visit to Norton Primary Academy School which became an academy in January and spoke about the importance of believing in yourself and having ambitions.
Principal Susan Dawson welcomed over 80 visitors including Stockton mayor Barbara Inman and Les Walton, chair of the Northern Education Trust, which sponsors Norton Academy.
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The children mounted an art exhibition in the style of local artist, Mackenzie Thorpe and there was a surprise pop-up dance routine.
The children also developed and performed a new academy song written with the help and support of Mike Mcgrother, lead singer of the Wild Cats of Kilkenny.
Norton Academy’s current roll is 350 with a 39-place nursery. It became an academy with the Northern Education Trust in order to further enhance opportunities for school improvement. With good SATs results last year, the school is now on track.
Susan Dawson, said : “Steph is a great local role model for our children and demonstrates that if you believe in yourself, you can fulfil all of your dreams. “
Steph said: “I grew up in Teesside and it is really important to keep your regional accent because it is a big part of who you are. When I come to schools like Norton Primary Academy and meet children who have their lives and careers before them, I hope in some small way that I can inspire them to do better by sharing my own story with them and telling them never to give up on their dreams.”