TRIBUTES have been paid to an ‘inspirational’ former headteacher of Kineton High School.
Julia Morris passed away on New Year’s Day after spending Christmas surrounded by her family following a battle with cancer.
The 62 year-old leaves behind partner Philip, sons Simon and Oliver and four grandchildren.
She took over as head in 2002 and retired in 2014 to work as a freelance consultant in education and leadership as well as being an Ofsted inspector.
She has been remembered fondly by former pupils for creating the school’s unofficial motto of ‘Top Right’ – the place on a quadrant chart where you will find maximum effort and best achievement.
A statement from the school said: “Julia was passionate about young people and an outstanding educator whose enthusiasm and drive for excellence was infectious.
“At Kineton she created a positive and exciting atmosphere in which to learn, where everyone worked hard to be the best they could be.
“She saw secondary education as the most important years of a young person’s life, where they learn and grow into confident young adults, well prepared with the skills and values they need for life’s journey.
“Julia championed the right of every child to receive an excellent education whatever their academic ability and both challenged and supported students and staff to achieve their very best.
“Julia expanded the horizons of Kineton students both culturally and geographically by creating links and exchange visits with other schools in this country and abroad, especially Sanghamitta College – a Buddhist girls’ school in Galle, Sri Lanka.
“Julia’s influence on the lives of Kineton students will indeed serve them well.
“She will be missed by so many for her wisdom, soundness of judgement, sense of humour and unfailing positivity.”
Social media was flooded with tributes.
Lucy Thompson wrote: “Mrs Morris was a wonderful lady who genuinely wanted the best for every single student that stepped foot into Kineton High”, while Rob Lilley added: “Her door was always open for those who wanted to speak with her, and she always made you feel like you personally were her main priority.”
A memorial service will be held at St Peter’s Church, Kineton from 3.15pm on Friday (January 20).