20th August 2010 at 01:00

Lynn Bennett McKay, headteacher of Antonine Primary in Glasgow, lost her long-fought battle with cancer last month, at the age of 45.

Lynn was born in Lanark and dreamed of being a headteacher from an early age. She started her teaching career in Cathkin Primary and came to her first Glasgow school in 1988, when she took up post in Easthall Primary in Easterhouse. In 1995, she became depute head of Tormusk Primary and achieved her dream in 1998, when she was appointed head of Yoker Primary.

After six years in Yoker, she moved to her next headship at Drumry. It merged with Lochgoin and in 2007, she led the school, now named Antonine Primary, into its new building in Drumchapel.

Lynn loved working with children and felt most at home in Glasgow with children who needed that little bit extra attention. She recognised that all children had potential and she wanted them to develop their talents to the full. Lynn chose to work in Easterhouse, Castlemilk, Yoker and Drumchapel, as she felt this was where she could make the biggest difference.

She was a gregarious, outgoing person who had a wide circle of friends and enjoyed life to the full. Her strength of personality and courage stood her in good stead when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007.

Lynn recovered from her illness and returned to school, ready to prepare for Curriculum for Excellence and all that went with it. An HMIE inspection followed shortly after her return to work and the school received a good report, despite her absence the previous year. It is a testimony to Lynn's leadership that her contribution to the life of the school was highlighted as a key strength.

In 2009, the cancer returned but Lynn yet again recovered sufficiently to demand a return to school. Although she was not well enough to take on the mantle of headteacher, she was able to continue to work in Antonine Primary, providing valuable support to individual and groups of pupils to help raise their attainment.

Her love of children and selfless nature meant that right up to the final stages of her illness, Lynn was leading fundraising for Calum's Cabin, a charity which provides holidays for families who have a child suffering from cancer. Only three days before she collapsed and received her final diagnosis, she had organised a fundraising evening for the charity which she insisted on attending, despite her weak state. In the last six months of her life, her tenacity and determination were remarkable.

Lynn is survived by her husband, John Paul, and her two daughters, Erin, 10, and Orla, seven.

Maureen McKenna, executive director of education, Glasgow City Council.

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