Tributes to school PA with a guiding hand over 44 years

Kath White (left)
Kath White (left)

TRIBUTES have been paid to Kath White, Sheffield High School’s longest-serving member of staff, who died in hospital on New Year’s Day.

Kath, of Lodge Moor, joined the staff in 1967 as an office junior and, during 44 years’ service, worked her way up to become the school’s business manager and PA to four headteachers.

Current head Valerie Dunsford said: “Kath had such a positive impact on so many different areas of day-to-day school life.

“During her time at Sheffield High School she built up an enormous bank of knowledge about the school, its history, its traditions and, most importantly its girls and their families – she remembered something about almost every girl who came through the school.

“Kath enriched the whole school community with her love of life, her positivity, her vigour and her wonderful sense of humour; she will be terribly missed by all who knew her.”

She was popular with pupils too, many of whom paid tribute on the school’s Facebook page. Dana Abdulkarim wrote: “What a sad loss, what a wonderful ambassador for SHS, a great servant to the school and huge loss to the SHS community.”

Kath’s achievements included overseeing purchase of the Junior School and sixth form buildings; construction of the sports hall, dining room, new art studio, science labs and ICT room; refurbishment of the drama studio, language suite, assembly hall and reception; and installation of an artificial all-weather pitch.

In 2006 she was runner-up in the first national PA of the Year Awards and all four headteachers joined more than 200 staff for her retirement celebration at the Cutlers’ Hall in 2010.

Kath became seriously ill a year ago, but continued to enjoy travelling with husband John. Her retirement gift was spend on a cruise around the British Isles.

The funeral will be at noon on Wednesday, January 11, at Ranmoor Church, followed by private cremation. Gifts in lieu of flowers are for Cancer Research.