A CROWLAND headteacher has died following a long battle with breast cancer.
Jo Fletcher, head of the St Guthlac School, passed away last week.
Mrs Fletcher was struck down with cancer just months after joining the school in September 2007.
She took time off work to fight the disease and was able to return for a time, before falling ill again last summer.
Mrs Fletcher had been away from the school since last September.
Staff and students were told of her death during a specially organised assembly conducted by Rev Charles Brown on Friday.
The school’s executive head Steve Baragwanath described Mrs Fletcher as “a very strong woman.”
He said: “She was very positive throughout her illness. She just got on with things.
“She was a much respected and admired headteacher, who was dedicated to the pupils and staff.
“Jo was an extremely popular and a valued colleague and teacher who will be sorely missed by everyone who knew and worked with her.
“She was a very determined and strong woman.
“I have passed on our condolences to her family at this sad time. She was a lovely lady and a great person to work with.”
A counselling service has been put in place for pupils and plans are under way for a memorial event.
Mr Baragwanath added: “It’s been a shock for everyone and the youngsters are very upset.
“After the assembly, we made support available for pupils with members of staff who have had counselling training.
“However, if a child is struggling to cope with this sad news and a parent is concerned, please do not hesitate to contact the school so additional support can be given to them.”
South Holland district councillor Paul Przyszlak, who represents the Crowland ward, said: “I was very sad to hear that Mrs Fletcher had passed away.
“She did a lot of good work at the school and under her leadership, the results improved quite dramatically.”