Jon Neall

25th June 2004 at 01:00
Jon Neall teaches history at Vandyke upper school in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire.

He's a popular and committed teacher whose reputation for scholarship and mutual respect is well known in the town. Like many teachers he's modest and hardworking, but his twin brother, Peter, has decided it's time to publicise Jon's achievements and has nominated him for our champagne chocolates and flowers.

Peter Neall has a solicitor's practice in Leighton Buzzard and is often out and about in the town, especially on Saturday mornings. (Jon lives further away in Hemel Hempstead.) "I am frequently mistaken for him," he writes, "but more often recognised as his brother - at which point I'm told that Mr Neall is a great teacher."

Vandyke is a popular comprehensive for 1,100 students aged 13 to 18. While Jon Neall trained in history, he has also taught German (his wife is German), RE (in which he has a second degree) and psychology. Currently he's a sixth-form tutor teaching A-level history and general studies.

Twice a year, on Remembrance Day in November and Holocaust Memorial Day in January, the whole school benefits from Jon's knowledge and skills, when he presents a sound and light show telling the stories behind the dates.

Headteacher Tim Carroll, who was appointed last September, says November's event was his first experience of such a poignant and memorable history lesson for all, which made links with Rwanda and Bosnia. "Jon is passionate about history and about bringing events to life. He wants students to understand what happened and what's happening now and to try to make the world a better place."

Peter Neall, who once shaved his beard off with Jon to raise money on Red Nose Day, says he has only ever been thanked and praised for being Jon's twin. "I'm proud and delighted to live in his reflected glory."

Is there an unsung hero in your school? Tell Sarah Bayliss, TESFriday editor, about him or her at the address below. Flowers kindly supplied by Marks amp; Spencer

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