Nuala Fennelly was Doncaster’s cabinet member for children, young people and schools and served as a councillor on several of the authority’s committees, working on a number of high profile projects including the Doncaster University Technology College.
Leaders of a number of the borough’s schools have paid tribute to her.
Helen Redford-Hernandez, chief executive of the Edenthorpe-based Brighter Futures Learning Trust, which runs Hungerhill Academy, Doncaster University Technology College, Barnby Dun Primary Academy, Dunsville Primary School, Kirk Sandall Infant School, Kirk Sandall Junior School, and West Road Primary Academy, said was not often that you come across someone so genuine as Mrs Fennelly.
She said: “I was so sorry to hear about Councillor Nuala Fennelly.
"She was such a good support when I first came to Doncaster as a headteacher and she worked tirelessly for all our schools.
"She championed the cause for the UTC but she never had an obvious political agenda – it was always just about the children. We can all learn from her selflessness and her integrity.”
Beryce Nixon, chief executive of the Edlington based Exceed Learning Partnership, which runs Carr Lodge Academy, Edlington Victoria Academy, Hill Top Academy, Sandringham Primary School and Sheep Dip Lane Academy said she was deeply saddened and shocked to hear of Mrs Fennelly’s death.
She said: “As a long standing Headteacher, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with Nuala on many projects to ensure that outcomes for young people are of the highest quality. Nuala was a kind, caring and passionate civic leader.
“A true champion of children and young people, Nuala inspired so many, supporting hundreds of our pupils and will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this difficult time."
Adam Dale, chief executive of Campsall based Leger Education Trust, which runs schools including Campsmount, said earlier this week: “I am so shocked by this and our thoughts are with her family. She was such a powerful and passionate promoter of Doncaster and its young people. A great loss to us all.”