School in mourning for teacher

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TRIBUTES have been paid to a North Tyneside teacher after he lost his battle with cancer.

Paul Baxter, a teacher at the King’s School in Tynemouth for 20 years, died on Tuesday, October 25, a year after becoming ill.

A book of remembrance has been set up at the Huntingdon Place school and will be passed onto his widow Alison.

Mr Baxter was an art teacher specialising in ceramics and stained glass.

One of his windows can be seen in the chapel at the school.

He also earned praise for his contribution to school trips, particularly as a chef.

The 56-year-old joined the school in 1991, but diagnosis of his illness prevented him teaching for a year, although many staff and pupils kept in touch with him during that time.

In an address to staff and pupils at an assembly last week, headmaster Edward Wesson described Mr Baxter as a brother, or even an uncle or father figure to the school community.

He said: “I only knew him as someone with a serious illness, who had been diagnosed with cancer last autumn, an illness he bore with obvious courage.

“Nevertheless, I could see the natural warmth, generosity of spirit and irrepressible humour of the man, and I know that my life has been enriched by the limited contact I had with him.”

Mr Baxter was originally from Middlesbrough but lived in Houghton-le-Spring.

He was said to be a committed supporter of Middlesbrough Football Club.

A keen musician, he left school at the age of 16 and got into teaching through night classes.

Mr Baxter’s funeral took place last Thursday at St Michael and All Angels’ Church in Houghton-le-Spring.