Students and staff honour former school colleagues

Swinton's Y12 students get dressed up to raise funds in memory of Zak Jepson.
Swinton's Y12 students get dressed up to raise funds in memory of Zak Jepson.

THE memory of respected Swinton Community School geography teacher and librarian Mike Kenyon lives on – in the form of a new award.

And the first winner of the Mike Kenyon memorial award, for services to geography is former pupil Shaun Critchlow, now studying the subject at Sunderland University.

Head of Humanities Marion Nugus presented Shaun with the honour.

She said: “Mike was a dear colleague and friend. Many ex-students remember him as being firm but fair in the classroom, and helpful and encouraging when on summer and international camp, leading climbs and expeditions.

“He also led many skiing trips, and was renowned for travelling extensively to every continent including Antarctica. His other passions were drawing and photography.”

Ms Nugus explained that after Mr Kenyon’s recent death from cancer, his friends decided to support his favourite charities, the Pakistan Flood appeal and Mountain Rescue and set up the award in his memory.

Shaun was seen as a deserving recipient of the first award as he worked hard to achieve his grades, and always gave full support to younger students, she added.

Meanwhile Mike’s photographs have been showcased in a specially-produced calendar, and reproductions of the pen-and-ink Christmas cards he made in previous years, have also been sold... along with his extensive range of ties!

The efforts have raised a total of £455 for student causes. Calendars, priced £2, are still available from the school.

l Meanwhile, Year 12 students from the school have also been busy raising cash in memory of one of their former friends – Swinton pupil Zak Jepson who lost his battle with leukaemia last year.

A fancy dress day, together with a staff versus sixth-form football match, raised £539.41 for the Make A Wish foundation.

The cheque was presented to Zak’s mother – when she also received his excellent GCSE certificates – at the school’s annual prizegiving ceremony.