Tributes paid to ‘passionate’ Sheffield school governor after death aged 68

Tributes have been paid to a long-serving Sheffield school governor who was ‘passionate’ about improving the lives of young people.

Monday, 19th October 2020, 12:30 pm

Jon Mordecai was first appointed as school governor at Silverdale School in 1992 and had served continuously for over 28 years, 20 of which were as Chair of Governors.

His passion for education, however, extended outside of Sheffield and saw the 68-year-old take on other roles including National Leader of Governance at the College for Teaching and Leadership.

He passed away on Friday, October 2, after a short battle with cancer.

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Jon Mordecai, who has been described as a 'integral' part of the Silverdale community, has passed away aged 68

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In a statement, Silverdale School headteacher Sarah Sims, said: “Jon has been an integral part of the Silverdale community for a long time and served on the governing board for over twenty years. Jon was also a founder Trustee of Chorus Education Trust and last year served as Vice Chair on the Interim Board at Hope Valley College.

"He was a National Leader of Governance and he brought a wealth of experience and expertise to the people he worked with. He often reflected on the importance of his own education and, over the years, Jon played a central role in developing an outstanding school at Silverdale and shaping a culture of success across Chorus Education Trust.

"Jon was passionate about giving all young people the best possible start in life and he had a strong sense of moral purpose. He shared his time and his wisdom freely, and we will miss him.”

Born in the Welsh town of Llantwit Major, Mr Mordecai was the son of a primary school teacher and enjoyed being in the classroom from a young age.

He went on to gain a degree in Politics and Economics and became a Labour councillor in Brent, London – where he held a role as Chair of Housing – before he moved to Sheffield and returned to education as a mature student, studying ICT and Organisations at Sheffield Hallam University.

Mr Mordecai also held a position as chair of the Unison branch at Sheffield City Council and latterly wrote lectures for the University of the Third Age – an international movement of retired and semi-retired people who come together to continue their educational, social, and creative interests in a friendly and informal environment.

His wife of over 30 years, Angela, described him as a ‘life long learner’ who felt that education was a “pivotal” point in people's lives.

She said: “Although he moved to Sheffield for a job in the housing department, there was always that sideline of education. He was keen to see the new Silverdale School being built then said he'd stay on to see the next phase through.

"There was always something, he just never wanted to give it up. He was just one of those people that had to be active and busy.”

Wood Funeral Service, on Ecclesall Road, has set up an online memorial page for Mr Mordecai where people can donate to his two chosen charities, St Luke’s Hospice and the North Yorkshire Moors Railway Trust.