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News Shock death of college head

THE principal of MidKent College has died – just 10 months after taking up her appointment. Sue McLeod (pictured)was diag-

nosed with a brain tumour in June and died sud- denly in hospital on Wednesday, July 23. She was just 53. Chief executive Stephen Grix, who Sue suc-

ceeded as principal, said:“We have lost a very dear friend and a great principal.” Aformer travel and tourism lec- turer, Sue joined the college in 1993

before climbing the ranks to be- come the first female principal in its more than 100-year history. Prior to joining the college, Sue

worked across the Caribbean, United States and Europe during her time in the travel industry, in- cluding a stint aboard cruise liners. Appointed in April last year, she

took up her post as principal in September. At the time, she said: “It means a

great deal to me and I hope it demonstrates to all our students that gender is no barrier to them

MPstarts charity fun run

MINISTER for Sport Helen Grant was in Maidstone to mark the start of the Big Fun Run in Mote Park. The 5k run was one of 17 untimed runs being staged

in scenic settings around the UK between July and Oc- tober – and open to all ages and abilities. The MP for Maidstone and The Weald signalled the

start of the run and said afterwards: “Itwas fantastic to see hundreds of runners, young and old, raising money for good causes. The event is all about fun – as the name suggests – whilst keeping active and healthy.” The route started and finished at the north end of Mote Park, east of the lake.

achieving their goals in life. “I studied at a further education college as a teenager and if itwasn’t for the expertise and encourage- ment of the teachers there I would never have thought that going to universitywas even a possibility.” Sue had a degree in business stud-

ies at the Dorset Institute of Higher Education, now Bournemouth Uni- versity, where she returned to study travel and tourism prior to embark- ing on her teaching career. Ahighlight of her time as princi- pal came for theMedway mother of

one in February, when she visited Buckingham Palace to accept the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for fur- ther and higher education from the Queen on behalf of the college. Mr Grix said: “Suewas an excep-

tional leader who inspired students and staff alike, and her commit- ment and passion for teaching was what drove her. Her energy, enthu- siasm and ability to motivate others will be sorely missed.” Vice-principal Simon Cook has

been appointed acting principal by the college's governing body.

Ken Rhodes

IN the Obituaries section of last month’s Downs Mail we said Ken Rhodes was a regular visitor to the Wheelchair Club in Staplehurst. This was incorrect; itwas TheWeald Club that he regularly visited.

Plea to fell trees

Runners enjoyed a route through woodland and around the lake.

TWOsycamores could be removed at the Kings Head pub in North Street, Sutton Valence. Maidstone Council will decideWilliam King’s conservation area application.

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