HARDWORKING Mark Rattigan’s eyes lit up when he received his GCSE results - moments before a £110,000 state-of-the-art studio was named after him.
The 16-year-old suffers with extreme dyslexia yet managed to achieve nine GCSE A*-C grades to his absolute delight.
But while he was still celebrating his results, his headteacher at High Tunstall College of Science was preparing to wow Mark as a token of thanks for his expertise as a light technician and his efforts in teaching his fellow students.
Mark’s interest in lighting in television and production came about in his early years at High Tunstall and it was during a visit from the Young American’s performers when he really learnt to hone his trade.
Ever since then he has spent hour after hour in the high-tech studio in the school and spent a lot of time training other youngsters who will continue his work now he is due to start at college. But despite his extremely hard work, Mark was still completely taken back when headteacher Mark Tilling presented him with a plaque dedicating the studio to him.
Mark, who lives in the West Park area of town, said: “I can’t believe it, I’m just in shock that the teachers would think of doing this for me.
“I have absolutely loved every minute of my time at High Tunstall and in many ways Mr Tilling has been like a dad to me.
“The support of Mr Tilling and all of the staff has been fantastic.”
Mark explained how, due to his dyslexia, he struggled to focus in lessons and used to regularly have panic attacks in assemblies. But he overcame the problems and was rightfully delighted to pick up his excellent results on Thursday. He is now set to start at Hartlepool Sixth Form College next month where he will study drama and theatre studies, politics and ICT.
Proud headteacher Mr Tilling said: “Mark took it upon himself to learn all about lighting and everything else in the studio and has became quite the expert.
“Not only that, he’s also spend so much time teaching others how to use it and he is going to continue to come back and help our students even when he starts at college. Mark has done fantastic during his time here, especially bearing in mind he suffers with dyslexia.
“I’m sure he will go on and achieve everything he wants to achieve.”