TRIBUTES have been paid to a ‘kind’ and ‘respected’ teacher who has died suddenly.
Jacqueline Conn spent 26 years at Endon High School as a sports co-ordinator.
Staffordshire Police are not treating the 52-year-old’s death as suspicious.
Parents and pupils at Endon High have been informed about Mrs Conn’s death.
Headteacher Alison Gibson said: “Jackie was a loyal and dedicated PE teacher at Endon High School for over 26 years.
“She also made a huge contribution to the local community in her role as school sports co-ordinator.
“Jackie was a gifted teacher who inspired thousands of students to take up sport and who always gave her time freely to support her students, both in school and at a wealth of activities outside of school time.
“So many current and former colleagues, along with past students and parents talk fondly about her passion and skill as a teacher and mentor.
“I was told very recently that she was ‘simply the best’. “Jackie herself was very proud of the fact that her lessons were graded outstanding at every Ofsted inspection, which is a fantastic achievement.
“Jackie’s sheer love of her job and of sport in general made her a very special colleague. “She will be remembered with great affection by her friends and fellow staff at Endon High School. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.”
Mrs Conn’s death comes six weeks after she was handed a three-year teaching ban by the National College for Teaching and Leadership. The sanction was imposed after she turned up drunk for work in March, 2012.
But former pupils today praised Mrs Conn’s teaching skills.
Kim Thorley, aged 25, of Biddulph, who went to Endon High between 1999 and 2004, said: “She was my PE teacher and probably one of the most respected teachers there.
“You never heard anyone complain about going to a lesson taught by her.
“She was professional all the time and focused on what she was doing. What’s happened is very sad.”
Ruth Latimer, aged 29, of Smallthorne, who left Endon High in 2000, said: “I was on the netball and tennis teams with her when she was my PE teacher. She was a lovely, bubbly person. She was the same happy-go-lucky person away from teaching too.”
North Staffordshire Coroner Ian Smith has been informed about Mrs Conn’s death.
A police spokesman said: “We were called to an address in Lucerne Road, Biddulph, just before 10am on Tuesday by the ambulance service following the discovery of a woman’s body. The death is not being treated as suspicious.”