Tipton primary governor gets MBE reward

A former head-teacher and dedicated foster parent who recently received an MBE was back at Tipton primary to show it to the pupils.

Rod Crook, 66, is a governor at the school after a long career in teaching, including a five-tear stint in the village at the end of his career.

As a former headteacher of two primary schools in Devon, his teaching career took him around the country.

In addition, he and his wife Jan have fostered more than 30 children over the past 43 years, many staying with the Crooks for several years.

Last week he took his award into Tipton St John Primary School to explain to the pupils why he had received it, and what an MBE is.

Rod was nominated without his knowledge, and was shocked to receive a letter from the Prime Minister’s office in the spring, which said he was being put forward for an MBE.

And when the Queen’s birthday honours list came out in June, he was humbled to be handed the award.

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But it was only last week he got the chance to go Buckingham Palace to receive his MBE, with Jan and his son and daughter there to witness it.

He said: “I feel very proud that people think I’m worthy of being nominated.”

Rod has always placed high emphasis on outdoor learning for pupils, and was heavily involved with the now-closed Wembworthy Centre in Mid Devon.

He organised countless school visits for pupils from Tipton and other schools to take part in environmental weekends.

Mr Crook added: “A lot of the pupils went on to do things like the Ten Tors challenge and I like to think some of the skills they used were picked up with me at a younger age.”

After retiring from full-time teaching, he joined part-time at Tipton, and after retiring fully in 2007, he was asked to sit on the board of governors, a position he took up last year.