First head of Saffron Walden primary school, Jo Kemp, dies aged 89

Jo Kemp, the first headteacher of Katherine Semar School, has died

Jo Kemp, the first headteacher of Katherine Semar School, has died - Credit: Archant

The first headteacher of Katherine Semar Primary and Infant School in Saffron Walden has died aged 89.

Jo Kemp, who was head from 1977 to 1984, died at her home on the Norfolk coast on March 19, after retiring there with her late husband Ken, who died in 2002.

Mrs Kemp was appointed as the first headteacher of Katherine Semar which opened on January 5, 1977, in the Shubbery classrooms at Saffron Walden College of Education as the premises in Ross Close were not yet ready.

Mrs Kemp had previously been headteacher of a school in Islington, north London, and remained at Katherine Semar until her retirement in 1984, when she was succeeded by Rosalind Lowe.

Mrs Kemp’s philosophy of life and education was apparent to anyone who was associated with the school during her headship.

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She treated everyone – pupils, staff and parents equally and with respect, and created a happy, secure environment in which the children could learn and reach their potential in all areas of the curriculum.

As a result she was highly regarded and respected by by anyone associated with the school.

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She will be fondly remembered by the pupils, parents and staff of Katherine Semar School who had the privilege of knowing her.

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