School pays tribute to 'generous and determined' teacher Martin Leavey

Martin Leavey

Martin Leavey, - pictured receiving his long service award when he reached 30 years service at Henlow Academy - sadly died on December 31. - Credit: Henlow Church of England Academy

A Bedfordshire school is asking former students and staff members to contribute memories of a much-loved teacher, Martin Leavey, who sadly passed away last month.

Henlow Church of England Academy will be compiling contributions into a memory book to share with Mr Leavey's family.

Martin retired from the school in 2019 after 34 years of of service as a PE and humanities teacher.

He started out in 1986, having been appointed by the first headteacher of Henlow CoE Academy.

Generations of pupils enjoyed his PE and humanities lessons and staff say visitors to the school always ask about him. The role he enjoyed most was head of PE.

He recently recalled to a colleague the reason why he had stayed so long - he realised he "had found somewhere truly special".

Martin sadly died on December 31, after being diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2018. 

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The school announced the news on its social media channels that afternoon,  and was met with more than 100 responses from parents, former pupils and colleagues, with one describing him as "amazing in every way".

Headteacher Caren Earp said: "He was, to thousands of pupils and his colleagues, so much more than a teacher and at this difficult time I want us to remember his welcoming smile, his humour, his generosity and his determination."

Ms Earp continued: "Members of our community regularly share their 'Martin Leavey story' as soon as they enter our building and I'm sure this tradition will live on.

"We cannot be together to grieve in this era but Martin will be in all of our thoughts today and beyond the current restrictions when we can organise a way of celebrating his life.

"Martin was very much part of the fabric of our school and we will all miss his presence in the many activities which are part of school life."

Now, Henlow Academy would like to hear from staff, pupils and community members who have memories, photos or condolences they would like to include in the memory book.

To contribute to the memorial, email ML@henlowacademy.org.uk by Monday, February 1.

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