BY Ryan McDougall | April 14 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

mc mchugh

Greenock school honours teacher who died from coronavirus

A Catholic school teacher who died from coronavirus has been remembered as 'a true gentleman.'

Principal teacher Mr Gerry McHugh, 58, was a well-loved mathematics teacher at Notre Dame High School, Greenock.

His death was announced on Saturday April 11.

In a statement, headteacher Kate Couttie said: “It is with the greatest of sadness that i have to report that Mr Gerry McHugh passed away this afternoon. His family cared for him deeply and are very proud of him and what he achieved.

Devastating effect

“This loss will have a devastating effect on our entire school community, our mathematics department who loved him dearly, the wider staff who found him a rich source of experience and knowledge as well as our pupils and parents (past and present) all of whom respected him so highly.”

Mr Couttie said Mr McHugh had a ‘unique gift in being able to inspire every single pupil who walked through his classroom door.’

She added: “Pupils at Notre Dame High School loved learning mathematics because of him. Gerry had a kind word for everyone he spoke to, he was also funny, committed and caring in everything he did for our school—a true gentleman.”

Pupils’ support

Due to lockdown restrictions, pupils found a safe and unique way to pay tribute to the teacher.

The pupils created the social media hashtag #redforgerry, inspired by his love for Manchester United Football Club.

One former pupil to partake was Rhys McCole, a Greenock-based boxer.

He wrote on Twitter: “Mr McHugh was a great man and teacher who encouraged and included everyone, he was always checking on me and wanting me to achieve the best I could.”

Faith

Mrs Couttie said Mr McHugh’s Faith was ‘particularly important’ to him, and said the school has been ‘overwhelmed by the messages of support which have all had to be outwith the community of Notre Dame High School due to restrictions at this difficult time.”

She added: “I would ask everyone to hold on to this faith as we come to terms with such a sad loss. Gerry was cared for tremendously by staff at Inverclyde Royal Hospital and at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. Some of these staff were former pupils, parents of our pupils and relatives of our staff.

“We are truly indebted to them all and when it is safe to do so our school community will thank NHS staff for the work they have done in very difficult circumstances for Mr McHugh.”

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