TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Sunderland headteacher who has died at the age of 71.
Jeffrey Johnson led independent Argyle House School from 1969 until his retirement 10 years ago.
Bought by Mr Johnson and late wife Norma, the pair moved the school to its current premises in Thornhill Park a decade later.
Son Christopher, 38, said: “He and my mum were a bit of a force. My mum was the unsung hero, she was the head of the office and did all the admin.”
However, Mr Johnson’s connection with the school goes back further than his 34-year headship, to 1950 when he became a pupil there, aged eight.
Fifteen years on, in 1965, he started teaching mathematics at the school.
“He was an amazing man with numbers,” said Chris, who took over from his dad as headteacher in 2003.
“My dad was very powerful.
“He could walk into a room and the room would go quiet
“But he was very much a family man. He was very protective of me and my brother.
“When we got into trouble, he would never let another dad tell us off. He always did what he thought was right.”
The couple’s other son Neil, 42, also followed in the footsteps of his dad and is deputy headteacher at a Darlington school. They have two grandsons, Harvey and Dominic.
After his retirement, Mr Johnson continued to guide the school, becoming a governor, and an advisor to the Independent School Council.
A celebration of Mr Johnson’s life will be held at St John’s Church in Ashbrooke at 11am on Friday, followed by a service at the crematorium at noon before a wake will be held at Ashbrooke Cricket Club.