“He was proud of Dinnington and Dinnington was proud of him” - touching words about a much loved teacher whose sudden death has rocked the local community.
Dinnington Comprehensive School PE teacher Mark Lovett died of a heart attack at his Worksop home on Thursday 15th December - just days before his 55th birthday.
This week tributes from all corners of the community - including pupils and staff, past and present - have been paid to the teacher.
And on what would have been his 55th birthday the school was opened to allow people to lay flowers in the hall and sign a book of condolence. Mr Lovett’s widow June, and their three sons were all present.
Dinnington Comprehensive head teacher Paul Blackwell said: “Having worked and lived in the community for 32 years Mark was extremely well known and hugely respected.”
“His sudden death is a massive shock to the school and wider community but their response and the laying of flowers in the school hall on Friday and Monday showed just how he had touched people’s lives and I know has been a huge comfort to his family.”
“He was proud of Dinnington and Dinnington is proud of him.”
Mr Lovett, who was married to June, joined the school as a PE teacher in January 1979 and in 1983 joined the school’s pastoral team - where he remained for the rest of his career.
He later became Head of Osborne House, Head of Lower School and for a short while acting assistant head teacher.
Mr Blackwell added: “Mark believed in the young people of Dinnington Comprehensive School and saw no reason why they shouldn’t fulfil their potential and go on to be extremely successful. It was to this end that he devoted his working life.”
“When I joined the school in 2007 I was immediately impressed by his enthusiasm, dedication, and overwhelming sense of duty.”
“No task was too great, no request too big. If it meant that the students would be helped then Mark was up for the challenge and prepared to do whatever it would take.”
“He constantly but sensitively challenged under performance and always encouraged young people to learn from their mistakes and go on to be successful, whether that be in the classroom or out on the playing fields.”
Dozens of tributes flooded into the schools website page.
Ella Tweed wrote: “R.I.P Mr Lovett you will always be in our hearts.”
Keighley Schofield wrote: “R.I.P Mr Lovett, a fabulous teacher and wonderful man, who will be sadly missed by many. Such a shock! Thoughts go out to his family at this extremely sad time.”
Kristie Johnston wrote: “You were a fantastic teacher loved by all you taught past and present and all that knew you personally. You are an inspiration to many and always listened, encouraged and guided your students to be the best they could be this is why you were such an important teacher to me. You always saw the best in all people and for this I’m truly grateful so R.I.P sir.”
Mr Lovett’s funeral is being held at St Leonards Church, in Dinnington at 12pm on Thursday 29th December.
His family have for donations to charity - to be decided - in lieu of flowers at the funeral. Until the charity has been nominated people can send their donations to Dinnington Comprehensive.