A respected and caring award-winning teacher who taught generations of children in Padiham has died after a brave battle with cancer.
Mrs Janet Ennis, who was named ‘Inspirational Teacher of the Year' at the 2016 East Lancashire Education Awards, taught at Padiham Green CE Primary School for 26 years, and retired as deputy headteacher.
Mrs Ennis, who lived in Hapton and grew up in Helmshore, had dreamed of being a teacher from childhood, and was well known throughout the area and respected for her dedication to her pupils.
The eldest of five sisters, Janet leaves behind mum Sheila McConville, son Declan, partner Paul, and siblings Judith, Hilary and Alyson, as well as the late Helen.
Alyson said: "Janet was an amazing teacher, very creative, who knew her children very well. She always joked that it took her ages to get out of Asda because she would see all her former pupils. She inspired our sister Hilary to follow her into teaching.
"Janet was very bubbly, the kind of person who would light up a room when she walked in. Janet loved dancing, particularly ballroom and tap, and would drag people up to dance with her. She also had a keen interest in artwork and soft furnishings."
Nursing an ambition to become a teacher from the age of seven, Mrs Ennis studied at the Padgate College of Higher Education in Warrington and her first posting was to Padiham Primary School.
This was followed by a spell at Burnley’s Holy Trinity Primary where Mrs Ennis’ idea to use computers within the curriculum earned her a role as an advisory teacher to 83 schools at the very start of modern technology.
She went on to undertake a variety of roles at Padiham Green, including nine years in reception class and teaching all key stages. When the original school burned down in 1991 Mrs Ennis was there to help steer pupils through an unsettling three years before the new building in St Anne’s Street finally rose from the ashes.
Mrs Ennis, who retired reluctantly two years ago, was also a keen supporter of Community Rail Lancashire, and designed a range of school activities to support other teachers on rail topics linked to the National Curriculum.
The headteacher of Padiham Green School, Mr Mark Dixon, will read a tribute at Janet's funeral, along with Declan, when it is held on Tuesday, March 26th, at 1-30pm at St Leonard's Church, Padiham.
Her funeral cortege will pass Padiham Green School on the way to church. Donations are requested for Pendleside Hospice.