TRIBUTES have continued to pour in for an “amazing” and “truly inspirational” Newport head teacher who died on Monday after a fight against cancer.
Councillors and pupils past and present, have paid their respects to Sue Jenkins, who was head teacher of St Joseph’s High School formore than 20 years.
Many comments were left on the Argus website yesterday, among them a tribute from Labour councillor for Gaer, Debbie Wilcox.
“This is really sad news for those of us who knew Sue Jenkins,” she said. “She bravely bore this terrible illness at the end of a long and distinguished career in education.
“She shone a beautiful light on everyone who came into contact with her and especially for the thousands of young people who had the good fortune to be under her guidance.
“God bless you Sue for everything that you did and the world is indeed a poorer place without you.
“Sincere condolences to the family and to the wider family at St Joseph’s High School.”
Miss Jenkins began her career at St Joseph’s High School as deputy headteacher in January 1992 and became head teacher in April 1997.
During that time the school has become sector leading being awarded seven grade ones in all of the Estyn key questions in spring 2007; a grading that was supported by the Section 50 inspection which looked at Catholic life in the school.
Others paying tribute included Newport mayor Cllr Cliff Suller. He said: “It is a very very sad thing indeed for the family and for the school.
“I have met her quite a number of times when I have visited St Joseph’s and she has really built that school up without a shadow of a doubt.
“Her dedication to the school has been tremendous and she has installed a tremendous amount of pride and achievement in her students.
“I have known her for around three years and I always enjoyed going to that school because if the overwhelming happiness she fostered there.
“She will be sadly missed.”
Newport Conservative Cllr Matthew Evans, for Allt-yr-yn, said: “Both my daughters recently attended St Joseph’s and I had the pleasure of meeting her on a number of occasions.
“I have known her for 10 years and she was truly inspirational.
“She was utterly focused on providing the highest standard of education in the city.
“She was taken far too young, but her legacy will remain for decades to come.”
Labour MP for Newport West Paul Flynn said: “She was a splendid teacher and did a great deal to enhance the whole of the school in every respect.
“It is a great sadness that she has died at such an early age.
“She was the model teacher and head teacher.
“She is irreplaceable and it will be a great sadness to her former pupils, current pupils and teaching staff.”
Former pupils also commented online, with one saying: “With deepest sympathy always in our thoughts you will be sadly missed.”