THE loss of an ‘incredibly intelligent and creative’ teacher is being mourned by staff and students at a city secondary school.
David Croft died on Friday, May 2, less than a year after retiring as head of social sciences at St Peter’s RC High School in Tuffley. He was 62.
“Dave was simply made for teaching,” said close personal friend Dennis Coughlan, St Peter’s deputy head and history teacher who worked closely with Mr Croft for many years.
“He was an incredibly intelligent and creative man who loved young people; in fact he called his pupils his ‘little luvs’.
“During his time at St Peter’s, Dave built up a reputation for being a caring, hard working member of staff who always put the pupils first - results day in August was always a stressful time for Dave he would be as worried as the pupils.
“Pupils liked being taught by Dave as he brought the subject to life with his depth of knowledge. Dave enhanced the curriculum by taking school trips to Rome and Venice during half term and Easter holidays.
“It is a great shame that he was not able to enjoy his retirement with the family he loved.”
Since his retirement last July he had been fighting a serious illness and died in Gloucestershire Royal Hospital on Friday.
He will be sorely missed by his wife, Val, his children, Dan, Hannah and Luke, who all attended St Peter’s, and by family, colleagues, friends and past and current pupils.
He studied at Bristol University and he taught in London before he came to Gloucester. He taught at St Peter’s for 32 years, having been appointed head of history in September 1981. He retired as head of the social science department in September 2013.
“In that time Dave not only developed the history department into one of the most successful departments in the country but also set up successful sociology, politics, psychology and archaeology courses at GCSE, AS, ‘A’ level and a wide range of BTEC vocational courses,” said Mr Coughlan.
The school has asked pupils to remember him in their prayers. St Peter’s has been hit hard by the untimely passing of members of the school community.
Headteacher Lawrence Montagu died in April last year, aged 67, after a long illness. He had been the head of the school for 29 years.
St Peter’s High School Choral Society held a concert to mark the first anniversary of his death.
A mass was held in June last year to remember Mr Montagu, former chair of governors Peter Baker, former senior staff members Tony Chesson and Sue Goble, and year 11 pupil Kamil Ciemniewski.