A FORMER head teacher at Brighouse High School has died.
Barbara Thompson passed away at Wheatfields Hospice, Leeds. She was 82 years old.
Mrs Thompson, who retired in 1992, had been at the school for 13 years, first as head of the former Brighouse Girls’ Grammar School and then from 1985 in charge of the newly-created comprehensive Brighouse High.
She entered the profession by accident when she took a job at night school teaching English. She found that she quite liked teaching and started working with students in Staffordshire where she lived at the time.
In 1965 she moved to Leeds and got a job at Lawnswood Girls Grammar School before being appointed deputy head at West Leeds Girls’ High School.
She left there to become headmistress of Brighouse Girls’ Grammar School.
Liz Cresswell, current head teacher of Brighouse High, said Mrs Thompson was held in high regard by all who knew her.
“Mrs Thompson was a special person and will be greatly missed,” she said.
Former colleague John Bond described Mrs Thompson as very positive.
“She had a strong personality that stood her in good stead because she was there for the change over both from a girls’ grammar to a co-educational boys’ and girls’ school and also from a grammar school to a comprehensive.
“She was very capable. I remember her saying that you have to make decisions and of course some decisions are not in your hands to make. But the thing is when decisions are taken you have to make them work and make them work well.
“With all the changes that went on, Brighouse Girls’ Grammar School actually closing and the other schools opening, everyone had to re-apply for their posts,” he said.
“She was there in charge over a time of great change and because she was positive and had a strong personality she coped with that very well. She was an excellent person to have at that time and always very helpful and approachable.”
Retired teacher Jack Townend said: “Barbara was a friendly headteacher, easy to get on with and a friend to all.”
Mrs Thompson lived in Leeds.