John Weitzel wins Special Services to Independent Education award at the prestigious Tes Independent School Awards 2019
For 40 years John Weitzel has dedicated his life to Loughborough Grammar School in an extraordinary variety of roles, including as a Teacher, Deputy Head, Acting Head, Master and Archivist. He is renowned throughout the school and has shaped the lives of thousands of young people and contributed hugely to the School’s history and success. On 1 February 2019, this was recognised and he was announced the well-deserved winner of the Special Services to Independent Education award.
Many alumni recall how John inspired them as a Maths teacher after he joined in 1978, not only by making the subject exciting to learn but inspiring them personally. One of his most admired qualities is his ability to remember nearly every one of the LGS ‘Old Boys’ – including their academic aptitude, interests and parents!
John’s love of LGS was evident during the six years he dedicated to chairing the Quincentenary Committee celebrating the School’s 500th anniversary in 1995. In that role he not only raised £700,000 for a new English and Drama block, but spent weeks preparing for a visit by the Queen to open the building. Today the School’s Development Office and the Loughburians still rely on his passion and knowledge, and a dinner to honour his ‘retirement’ drew 174 people.
Judge John Claughton, who played cricket with John as a teenager, said: “For 40 years John Weitzel has been a remarkable servant of Loughborough Grammar School, doing everything, knowing everyone, young and old and in the middle. Teachers like John create and embody the very essence of the schools they serve and there are few of them left to carry that collective memory.”
The award ceremony was held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London where John celebrated with three fellow Heads of LGS – Neville Ireland, Paul Fisher and Duncan Byrne. The event truly belonged to ‘Loughborough’ since it was hosted by LHS Alumni – Class of 2002, award-winning musical comedian, actor, improviser and presenter Rachel Parris.