Tributes paid to headteacher from Haringey

Photo from Japanese Society

Photo from Japanese Society

First published in News
Last updated
by , Chief Reporter

Tributes have been paid to a teacher who was “brimming with love and inspiration” for his students and work.

Kevin McKellar, who lived in Haringey and worked at Hendon School, in Golders Rise, died on Saturday, August 24.

More than 660 people have now signed a petition on a change.org calling on the board of governors to change Hendon School’s name to The Kevin McKellar School in his honour.

His daughter, Lili McKellar, said: “My dad was an amazing man, father and headteacher. Words cannot express how much he will be missed.

“I want him to be remembered for moments like him running around Tesco’s singing and doing a spiritual dance.

“He helped so many students improve their English and get them up from Ds to A*s. Thank you for the support from all Hendon School pupils. He loved you and the school with all his heart.”

Mr McKellar taught at schools across the country, including Fortismere School in Muswell Hill, the Rokeby School in Canning Town and Cumberland School in Plaistow.

He joined Hendon School nine years ago and is credited with taking it out of special measures, before transforming it “beyond recognition”.

Under his leadership, by 2011, Ofsted inspectors gave it an 'outstanding' rating and named it one of the “best comprehensives in Barnet”.

Mr McKellar was also passionate about promoting the Japanese culture through teaching and exchange programmes.

Hundreds have turned out to pay their respects at the school, leaving flowers and messages in tribute.

Catherine Reidy, who left the school two years ago, has fond memories of how he called the younger year groups his “babies” and forged close bonds with all pupils.

She recalled how he would come to the school on Saturdays with his dogs to give pupils extra English lessons before exams.

She said: “He never gave up on a student, no matter how troubled or badly behaved they were - he believed in us all and had faith in us.

“It’s hard to accept that somebody so vibrant and energetic could be gone. It’s a rare thing, to meet somebody with a heart as full to the brim with love and compassion as his.

“He thought everybody was a genius – but he was the genius. You leave the brightest light behind. Thank you endlessly.”

Former pupil, Katie Osborne said: “You will always be remembered as a funny and kind teacher to all your students at Cumberland.

“You gave everyone a chance - even the naughty kids that not many teachers had time for. The world has lost a great spark.”

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