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Plat Douet Head pays tribute to “bubbly, fun and hard-working” teacher

Plat Douet Head pays tribute to “bubbly, fun and hard-working” teacher

Wednesday 06 October 2021

Plat Douet Head pays tribute to “bubbly, fun and hard-working” teacher

The Headteacher of Plat Douet Primary School has shared a touching tribute to the “bubbly, fun and extremely hard working” Year 1 teacher who died suddenly last week.

Jo Brinkworth passed away in the early hours of Friday morning in what was described as a “huge shock to the whole school community”.

Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, Mrs Brinkworth went to Wyndham Primary School, James Hargest in Invercargill and then went to Dunedin University a year early at 17.

She then taught in New Zealand Z, Birmingham and Jersey. She started as a supply teacher at Plat Douet and spent seven years there.

To pay tribute to her, Plat Douet decided to have a ‘wear something red’ week, which is now underway.

Phil Walker, the school’s Headteacher, explained that the red was in memory of Mrs Brinkworth's distinctive red hair - “After the summer holidays, we never knew what hair colour she would come back with,” he recalled.

“Jo was a wonderful person who will always be remembered,” he added. “It has been a hard few days, but we are focused on the positives and, over the coming weeks, we will be celebrating the wonderful work she did. 

“Jo has touched children’s lives here at Plat Douet. She was bubbly, fun and extremely hard working and committed. She was loved; the children absolutely adored her. There are not enough words to talk about Jo."

As yesterday (5 October) marker World Teachers’ Day, Mr Walker said Jo would be remembered as a “world class” teacher.


Pictured: Students taking part in the 'wear something red' week.

“Our vision hasn’t changed: we want children to be the best they can be – as a person, not just at reading and writing – and they had no better role model than Jo,” he said.

“If we can teach our children to be like Jo then I think we have done a good job.”

Angela, Keith and Marilyn Marshall, Mrs Brinkworth’s mother, father and sister, this week shared a message with the school community.

“It is with great sadness that we acknowledge all of the kind and loving comments you have made about Jo," they said.

“She was our Taonga (treasure) and yours. She loved working at your school and with the little ones. We feel so far away here in New Zealand, but your thoughts and prayers have been very comforting to us.

“Sending you all our Aroha (love).”


School goes red to remember "passionate" teacher

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