A teacher who was thought of as cheeky in the best way, queen of karaoke and phenomenally supportive has been honoured by her colleagues and students. 

Jackie Newell was headteacher at Hollybrook Academy, a school for children with additional support needs, from 2013 until 2023 - when she sadly passed away following a battle with cancer at the age of 49. 

(Image: Image of Jackie Newell, provided by family to the Glasgow Times)

Arriving at the Southside school with a passion for teaching, Jackie showed genuine care for families and adoration for pupils – whom she often would sing karaoke with on a Friday afternoon during the kids' health and wellbeing class. 

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Mairi Barrett, who is now headteacher at Hollybrook, said Jackie would claim she had an important meeting and run away to sing with the children. 

She said: “You couldn’t find her in the office because any opportunity she had to be out and about with the kids, there she was. 

“She just adored them, and they were incredibly fond of her.” 

Mairi added: “She always listened to the kids and took every request as a serious consideration. She was an awful lot of fun.” 

(Image: Image of Jackie Newell, provided by family to the Glasgow Times)

Hollybrook decided to host a black-tie dinner dance at Hampden Stadium earlier this year to raise funds for Beatson Cancer Charity and the school itself. 

The event marked one year since Jackie’s passing.

Mairi said: “Jackie was incredibly well cared for at Beatson and she spoke so highly of all the staff there and her consultant. 

“She was quite funny because she would come to work before she went to Beatson for treatment, and she was always immaculate and made a point of looking fabulous.” 

The Rock Choir and comedian Anna Devitt provided entertainment at the event, while partners of the school and teaching staff across Glasgow turned up. 

Mairi said: “The level of support that came out in Jackie’s memory was wonderful. 

“We originally worried we had gone too big with the event, but that quickly turned into worry that we wouldn’t have enough tickets or space.” 

(Image: Images of Hollybrook Academy kids presenting cheque to Beatson)

The school raised a whopping £10,000 from the event - £5k of which went to the Beatson Cancer Charity and the rest will be used to create a more sensory environment in the school.  

Staff and pupils presented the cheque to the Beatson Cancer Charity Centre in Glasgow – an experience they loved. 

Mairi said: “The children really enjoyed it. It was really nice for them because they were older pupils who were taught by Jackie.” 

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The school will continue to fundraise in Jackie’s memory, including a 10k walk in August for Beatson and the memory of Mrs Newall will certainly live on in the walls of Hollybrook and beyond.

As Mairi said: “Our pupils still talk about Jackie. They bring her into the most random conversations and reference her. They still think about her in their memories and successes.”