A Tribute To Gillian Griffiths (nee Lee)

Gillian Griffiths

02.11.1956 – 01.03.2015

It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the recent passing of a much-loved former teacher at the college, Mrs Gillian Griffiths. Gill passed away peacefully following a period of illness and will be sorely missed and fondly remembered by former colleagues and students at Minsthorpe Community College.

Gill joined Minsthorpe High School as an Assistant Teacher of History on 1st September 1979 and gave 32 years of loyal service to the college. She came to the school with outstanding references which commented, ‘an excellent student teacher, Miss Lee consistently reached a high standard; her oral and written work both reflect the high level of sophistication with which she deals with a wide variety of historical material.’ Indeed, her passion for her subject specialism of history was apparent to those she taught and inspired many to follow this subject further. Her reference continued, ‘Miss Lee proved to be a model student teacher. She was cooperative, friendly, reliable and entirely conscientious…Miss Lee has the makings of a first class teacher.’ This certainly proved to be the case.

Gill established herself immediately as a strong classroom practitioner and was quickly promoted to Deputy Head of Year in 1984 and two years later to Head of Year. Her genuine care for the students and great communication skills with parents made her an asset to the pastoral team for more than ten years. The hundreds of former students in her year groups will remember her with affection. For the last seven years of her teaching career, she continued her valued work as Assistant Cross Curriculum Team Leader – Support for Achievement. She successfully implemented the highly effective Academic Tutoring process (now known as P&A target setting), as well as coordinating our work experience programme. In all of these roles, Gill maintained her characteristic attention to detail, resilience and humour.

Gill retired from teaching in November 2011, having made a significant contribution to the life of the college for more than three decades. Sadly her retirement has been all too short. As former colleagues and students, we will each hold our individual memories of Gill. In her retirement speech, the then Principal, John Gregory, thanked Gill for her ‘professionalism and company’ – a sentiment shared even more poignantly by so many of her friends and colleagues at this sad time. We have shared our heartfelt condolences with Gill’s family and continue to keep them and her special friend and colleague, Julia Morgan, in our thoughts. We hope that they will find comfort in knowing that Gill will be remembered with respect and affection by so many.