Family and staff at St Joseph’s College pay tribute to ‘inspirational’ teacher Michael Davey

Michael Davey, left

Michael Davey, left - Credit: Archant

Tributes have poured in for a “hugely influential” teacher who will be “profoundly missed” by staff, students and parents of a Suffolk independent school.

Michael Davey, who was head of sixth form at St Joseph’s College in Ipswich, died yesterday after being taken ill last week. The 53-year-old had worked there since 1989 in a career which helped develop the potential of thousands of students.

Last night the school’s principal, Danielle Clarke, paid tribute to a “most inspirational” colleague and friend.

“This is a devastating loss to our entire school community. Mr Davey will be profoundly missed by the many staff, students and parents – past and present, whose hearts, minds and lives he touched.

“He was the most inspirational teacher, one of the kindest and loyal of colleagues and a man of great spirituality, faith and integrity. Mr Davey believed in each and every child and never, ever gave up on any student.”

He leaves his wife Cherrie and two children, Joshua and Joanna, who also works at the school. She said: “Dad is now off on a new adventure somewhere. He loved St Jo’s so much and we want today to be a day celebrating his life and thinking about all he did for others.”

Joshua Davey added: “I’ve had 25 years of the greatest father I could ever have which is more to me than having 60 years of mediocrity.”

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Mr Davey, who himself schooled at the college, created the college’s popular annual arts festival that enters its twentieth year this summer.

Mrs Clarke added: “His love of poetry and music has inspired thousands of young people and his annual Arts Festival at the college has unlocked talent and a love of the arts across generations of St Joseph’s students.

“Mr Davey’s belief in, and leadership of, the college’s unique ethos has had a huge influence on the lives of many. He will be truly missed by everyone connected to and with St Joseph’s College.”

Yesterday people took to Twitter after hearing the news. Arron Ludlam said: “Your caring, inspiring nature will never be forgotten. Guardian of the St. Joes’ values, now an angel in heaven. RIP Michael Davey #joeys”.

Ali Gamble added: “Best teacher/mentor I ever had, gave me so much time and help when I needed guidance, owe so much to Michael Davey, RIP sir.”

After leaving St Joseph’s as a pupil, Michael followed his love of literature by opening a second hand book store in Felixstowe.