Published: 13:13, 21 January 2021
| Updated: 18:29, 22 January 2021
Tributes are pouring in for an "inspirational" chemistry teacher who has died after a battle with Covid-19.
Stephen Fell, who made his mark on countless young lives in almost 25 years at Kent College in Canterbury, sadly died on Saturday after being diagnosed with the coronavirus.
The school announced the "terribly sad news" on its Facebook page.
Staff wrote: "He was a friend and colleague to so many of us in the KC Community.
"An inspirational chemistry teacher who was so enthusiastic about his subject, he was passionate about the progress of his pupils and a gifted communicator in class.
"We will miss his infectious energy enormously. Our thoughts are with his family and friends."
The college has launched an online remembrance book, where many past and present members of its community have already written messages of grief and condolence.
A former pupil who left Kent College more than 20 years ago wrote of her fond memories of chemistry lessons with Mr Fell.
"He inspired me to take it as A-level and I will never forget his boundless enthusiasm for teaching," she wrote. "Thank you Mr Fell. Rest in peace."
Another told how Mr Fell had been a "great influence" upon him, and led to his studying chemistry at degree level.
"I learnt and am ultimately still learning so much from Mr Fell," he wrote.
"In addition to the classroom antics, I have very fond memories of the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme and the endless quizzes and random facts.
"So many young lives have been touched by Stephen, and enhanced by his enthusiasm, optimism and passion..."
"Always enthusiastic and a contagious smile, I am forever in debt to your invaluable guidance. My deepest condolences to Mr Fell’s family, friends and students and colleagues."
A more recent pupil wrote: "Mr Fell was the funniest and best form tutor I’ve ever had.
"He had the best kind of sarcastic, dry humour that actually made me laugh in the morning after he walked late into school with his mammoth headphones.
"Your quirks and eccentricities were always comforting and actually made an impact on me, even during online tutor sessions where a lot of time was spent trying to help you work out how to use Zoom! I hope you know how important you were to me and everyone in our form."
Kent College staff told how Mr Fell, known to many as "Felly", had come late to teaching after a successful career in the chemical industry.
He joined Kent College, an independent school for boarding and day pupils, in 1996.
Alongside his role as head of chemistry, he also ran the school's Duke of Edinburgh Award programme, and was "passionate about the progress of his pupils"
"He encouraged students to step out of their comfort zone and take on the challenges of Lake District weather; the heights of Snowdonia; as well as life-affirming expeditions further afield in South Africa, Italy and Crete," wrote the college.
Mr Fell was also a key member of the school's boarding community, and ran its boarders' activity programme for the last 13 years. This saw him organising sports activities, along with Sunday trips to art exhibitions, concerns, theme parks and other activities.
The college wrote: "So many young lives have been touched by Stephen, and enhanced by his enthusiasm, optimism and passion.
"We are grateful for his dedicated service and that we had him for so long as part of the Kent College Community. He will be greatly missed."
Visit the remembrance book here.