“I WISH that I could tell her.”
Those are the words of Ruth Lowe speaking of her pride at following in the career footsteps of her late mum, Joy Lowe, the former head of Lynnfield Primary School, in Hartlepool, who died just a week after being diagnosed with cancer.
Twenty-five-year-old Ruth has won her first job as an art teacher at Wellfield Community School, in Wingate.
The career milestone comes three years after the death of her precious mum, who was head teacher at the Grosvenor Road school for 20 years.
Today Ruth, who lives in the town’s Park Road with her supportive father, Terry Lowe, 68, said: “I always wanted to be a teacher, like even before my mum died. It was probably since secondary school.
“I’d always seen what my mam had done and how she helped people and I wanted to do the same thing.
“I always loved art as well, so being an art teacher is just a dream job for me.”
Holding back the tears, emotional Ruth added: “I hope she would be proud of me.
“When I got my envelope with my results in, I got ‘outstanding’, which is the top grade. I had worked really hard and always thought to myself that if I didn’t do my best I would be letting my mum down as well as myself.
“I know she would be proud of me really. I definitely get my enthusiasm for teaching from my mum.
“She was a headtecaher for 20 years and never ever did I hear her complain about her job.
“She was just so enthusiastic and I think that’s what I learned from her.”
Joy, who was a keen runner and a Sunderland AFC fan, died on October 17, 2011.
She had only been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma a week earlier, but deteriorated quickly due to complications.
Ruth, a former pupil of High Tunstall College of Science and then a student at Hartlepool Sixth Form College, went on to study at Cleveland College of Art and Design, and then fine art at Goldsmiths, which is part of the University of London.
She then completed a teacher training course and started her new job shortly before the end of term.
Ruth said: “It’s such an amazing school, the pupils and staff are just great. I just hope I can be as good a role model as my mum.”
Ruth added that she would not have been able to get to where she is today without the support of her dad, and her boyfriend of four-and-a-half years David Jarrett, 26.