POIGNANT tributes have been paid to a popular teacher who has died following a short illness aged 64.
Monica Gallimore had been the headteacher at St Cuthbert’s High School in St Helens since 2008.
In her youth, she had been a pupil at Notre Dame grammar school in her native St Helens before graduating from Notre Dame College in Liverpool in 1970.
She got her first teaching job in 1970 at Mount Carmel High School in St Helens and went on to become the deputy headteacher at St Cuthbert’s in 1984 before her promotion in 2008.
Father Phillip Swanson, the chair of governors at the Berry’s Lane school, said: “Monica’s wish was always to teach and she gave her whole teaching career to the young people of St Helens.
“For nearly 30 years she was an inspiration and driving force to pupils, staff and parents in the St Cuthbert’s community and her aim was always to give pupils a ‘ticket to ride’, in other words. a fighting chance in life.
“She will be greatly missed by everyone for her enthusiasm and passion for education.”
Carole Hudson, the chief executive of St Helens Council, also paid tribute.
She said: “Monica was a wonderful person, a consummate professional and an absolute pleasure to work alongside.
“It’s not often you can say that someone changed lives for the better but in this case Monica’s enthusiasm and commitment to education was inspirational to all who had the privilege of knowing her.
“Her work with young people was remarkable, instilling in them a real thirst for learning and providing them with a sense of community and stability.”
Just weeks ago she had been among those to pay tribute to 13-year-old St Cuthbert’s pupil Carl Eriksson, who tragically died over Christmas after contracting a mystery illness.
Mrs Gallimore, of Rainhill, leaves a husband, Kevin.
Her funeral is set to be held at St Bartholomew’s in Rainhill - where she was a worshipping member and a reader - at midday on March 6.