Kevin McAleese, head teacher

Kevin McAleese
Kevin McAleese
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Kevin McAleese, who has died at 72, was the former head teacher at Harrogate Grammar School, who shared his story on living with a terminal illness in a BBC documentary.

“I had a diagnosis of less than a year and I wanted to make the most of that time,” he told the cameras, over breakfast at Bettys.

His prostate cancer had been discovered in 2016 and he had been determined, he said, to use the time remaining to him to find happiness, which he did in walks with his wife, Jenny, to Fountains Abbey, Swinsty Reservoir and Harrogate’s Valley Gardens.

A year ago, he attended his old school’s annual Celebration of Achievement evening at the Royal Hall, and donated a new prize for Determination in the Face of Adversity.

He had arrived at Harrogate Grammar as its head in 1992 and served the school for 10 years during a period of profound change in education, while also publishing academic books.

“My wife and I have had some of the best times of our lives,” he said. “We value each day and realise what matters in life, while enjoying the wonderful surroundings of Harrogate when we go walking.”