Tributes have been pouring in to recognise the far-reaching impact of an Ollerton school teacher who died from a sudden heart attack.
Alex Bysouth, a music teacher and head of sixth form at The Dukeries Academy in Ollerton died aged 40 on Wednesday, January 27, leaving behind his fiancé, Samantha, and three sons, and is described as an ‘amazing man who did amazing work inspiring young musicians.’
Former pupil Hayley Jones said: “Music was a hugely influential part of my time at the Dukeries College and they are the memories I look back on most fondly. Alex started as my teacher but became a friend.
“His dedication was to be admired – it is rare for someone to go so far beyond the call of duty that they give up their evenings, weekends and holidays in order for us to be playing at concerts or going on tour.
“He was very caring and approachable, supportive and funny, but what I will remember him for most is his love for his family. I remember going on my first tour to Germany in 2003 and watching him fall in love with Sam and I remember everyone’s excitement when he proposed to Sam at the bus stop while on a different tour to Germany. I have watched that family grow over the years, with the birth of their three beautiful boys.”
“I’ve not been able to stop thinking about Sam and those poor boys since I heard the news. I just hope that he is proud of all of us and that he knew how much we appreciated him
Another former pupil of the school, Vikki Taylor, 25, set up a fundraising page on JustGiving in memory of her old teacher.
She was taught by Mr Bysouth from 2002 until 2007 and was also in his form group – and told of her fond memories of the ‘great teacher’ who pupils could always turn to.
She said: “I couldn’t believe it when I heard. He was very down to earth, very funny.
“He was so supporting, and not just about school. He was the teacher you could turn to if you had any problems.”
And the 25-year-old from Ollerton who know works as a support worker is amazed after she set up a crowdfunding page on JustGiving to support Mr Bysouth’s family at this desperate time.
She added: “He was taken so suddenly. I’ve seen all these pictures of his fiancé and his kids and I couldn’t stop thinking about them, so I decided to do this - it’s something for them, just to show them that people are there to help, and show their support.”
And supporters helped Vikki make her target of £500 within a day of putting up the page - and have now raised close to double that to help his fiancé and three children.
Retired colleague at the school and friend Malcolm Bevan said Alex was an inspiration to many students.
He added: “The inspiration that Alex Bysouth gave to the students at Dukeries Academy has provided the community with many talented musicians who’s love of performing grew under the guidance, support and encouragement and support of this talented musician and teacher.”
“He was a great friend to have – he was always ready to help, he had a terrific sense of humour which was ever present whenever you were in his company. He was a total gentleman.”
Tributes to ‘great teacher’ and thoughts to his family pour in online
Katrina Casterton said: “Such sad news about Alex; I worked with him at the beginning of my teaching career at Dukeries. My heart goes out to the whole family.”
Sharon said: “A lovely caring man and teacher who still asked how my son was after he had to change schools. Never forgotten. Our thoughts are with his family and friends “
One donor to the JustGiving site said: “RIP to a legend Mr Bysouth, one of the best teachers in that school so sorry for the loss and thinking of his friends and family at this sad time.”
Liane Rose said: “A teacher who truly cared. Taken from is far too young with so much more to give. Thoughts are with the family at this sad time
If you would like to make a donation to help Mr Bysouth’s family visit Vikki’s JustGiving page here.