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MidKent College principal Sue McLeod, 53, dies one month after she was diagnosed with a brain tumour

A much-loved college principal has died just a month after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Sue McLeod, the principal of MidKent College, passed away suddenly in Medway Hospital yesterday.

Ms McLeod, from Chatham, became the first female principal of MidKent College when she accepted the post last September.

Sue McLeod, principal of MidKent College
Sue McLeod, principal of MidKent College

Tributes have flooded in following the news of Ms McLeod's death.

Former president of the Students' Union, Matt Stanley, said that Ms McLeod was still attending meetings as recently as last week despite being on leave.

He said: "It is really shocking and devastating news. She was an incredibly caring and supportive woman who took an interest in every stage of students' development.

"Sue helped transform thousands of lives and will be impossible to replace. You couldn't meet her without thinking that she instantly cared about you."

MidKent College student and star of The Voice Joseph Apostol described the news as 'devastating.' He added: "I'm sending my condolences to Ms Mcleod's family, she was a very kind and upbeat person. She will truly be missed."

Joseph Apostol was among those paying tribute to Ms McLeod
Joseph Apostol was among those paying tribute to Ms McLeod

Steve Corbishley, West Division Commander for Kent Police, tweeted: "She was an excellent leader who will be missed by many."

Scottish born mum-of-one Ms McLeod graduated with a degrees in business and travel and tourism from Bournemouth University, formerly Dorset Institute of Higher Education.

College chief executive Stephen Grix said: “Sue was an exceptional leader who inspired students and staff alike.

"Her energy, enthusiasm and ability to motivate others will be sorely missed. We have lost a very dear friend and a great principal.”

Member of Parliament for Gillingam and Rainham, Rehman Chishti MP said:

“It was a real privilege to work with Sue who was so passionate about education and ensuring her students got the right support and resources so they could achieve their true potential in life.

“She was a great educational leader who will be missed by everyone who knew her.”

A former travel and tourism lecturer, Ms McLeod worked in the United States, Europe and the Caribbean.

Sue McLeod was appointed as principal of the College last September
Sue McLeod was appointed as principal of the College last September

Ms McLeod joined the college in 1993, climbing the ranks to become the first female principal in its 100-year history.

Last February she visited Buckingham Palace to accept the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education from the Queen on behalf of the college.

Ms McLeod had been undergoing treatment at King's College Hospital in London and had not returned to work after being diagnosed, with Vice principal Simon Cook appointed acting principal by the College's governing authority in her absence.

A college spokesman said the college was in shock and it was unlikely that a decision would be made on a permanent appointment before students return on Monday, September 8, until that point Mr Cook will remain as acting principal for six months.

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