A "brilliant" teacher has died after contracting coronavirus, aged just 35.
Emma Clarke, a much-loved staff member at Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy in Runcorn, passed away on Thursday, the school announced this morning.
She taught science and tutored children who were due to take their GCSE exams.
Principal Tony Rawdin explained the tragedy to the school, and offered immediate help to pupils struggling with the "shocking and sad" news.
Speaking personally, he described himself as "heartbroken."
Mr Rawdin said: "We are very sorry to have to share the tragic news that Emma Clarke, a much-loved and gifted member of staff, sadly died yesterday, seemingly after she contracted the coronavirus and became unwell.
"All of our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with her family and loved ones at this difficult time.
"Many of you will have known her – Emma was one of those people who everyone liked.
"She was a brilliant science teacher and very popular with her pupils, not least her Year 11 tutor group, and her colleagues."
Ms Clarke had taught in Murdishaw for almost three years, and previously worked as a research chemist for a decade.
She gained her teaching qualification at Liverpool Hope University, obtaining an outstanding with merit qualification.
Emma also previously studied at the University of Leicester.
Mr Rawdin added: "I know that this may come as a shock to you and that you and your children may be incredibly saddened.
"When someone dies, young people may experience a range of different feelings such as sadness, anger and confusion – which are all normal.
"As ever, Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy, will try to provide every support that we can to you and to our pupils.
"Resources will be made available in the Tutor room of Google Classroom and students can access support here through the pastoral team."
Mr Rawdin also suggested grieving pupils contact Childline for assistance.
The principal added: "When the academy reopens, staff, students and members of our wider school community will be able to remember Emma together.
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"For now, I speak for everyone connected with the school in saying that we will always remember Emma extremely fondly, and I am sure you will join me in sending our deepest condolences to Emma’s family at this difficult time."
People reacted with sadness to the news.
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One woman said: "So sad, such a lovely person will be sadly missed, RIP Emma xx"
Another added: "Such sad news, my thoughts go out to family friends and all at Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy at this sad time."