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Garden opened in memory of inspirational Willenhall headteacher who died aged 50

A garden designed as a tribute to a headteacher who died last year has been officially opened at the school she led.

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Amelia Sanga and Igor Zalejski, 9, with Michaela’s husband John, children Emily, Luke and Harry and parents Eileen and Michael

Michaela Crawford was head at Fibbersley Park Academy in Willenhall for more than five years and saw it soar to success after earlier being placed in special measures.

She died in March last year aged 50 just three months after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

Described as an honest, humble and inspirational character, she is sadly missed by staff, parents and pupils and others associated with the school.

The school decided to create the Crawford's Corner garden as a tribute. But because of lockdowns the official opening was twice postponed before the official ceremony last week.

It was a case of third time lucky when deputy headteacher Soneeta Reynolds rolled up the ribbon to officially open the garden, watched by Michaela's family and friends.

Michaela Crawford was aged 50 when she died of lung cancer

Miss Reynolds said: "Sadly Michaela passed away on March 14 last year after being diagnosed with cancer.

"The whole school community decided the garden would be an ideal way to remember her and her achievements.

"The tribute garden is a dedicated, tranquil space where everyone can reflect and celebrate her achievements.

"It has been crated in a small quad area which runs off from the library which has been redeveloped.

"We all talked about what we wanted to see in the garden and everyone contributed their ideas.

"People donated money and items.

Michaela is remembered on a board put up in the garden

"There is a water feature and the children decorated pebbles to create what looks like a river running through the garden.

"A bridge crosses over the pebbles to add to the illusion.

"Our new headteacher, Mrs Kathryn Sugars, was at the opening along with Michaela's husband, John, who made a mural with a countryside view, and her children, Emily, Harry and Luke.

"A board with photographs of Michaela also stands in the garden and they feature both her professional and home life.

"We have 600 pupils at the school, aged between three and 11 years old, and some were at the ceremony but, because of the need for social distancing, others will be invited to viewings in their classes."

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