A SCHOOL has issued a heartfelt tribute to a beloved teacher following his death.

Darren Blyth, 55, disappeared on Wednesday, April 15, prompting an extensive search.

The Northern Echo:

Mr Blyth was reported missing after he travelled to Hawthorn Dene, not far from his home in Trimdon Station, County Durham, telling his family he was intending to take photographs.

Sadly, he never returned and after desperate appeals by family, emergency services and the community his body was recovered on Sunday evening.

Mr Blyth taught at Stokesley School and has been married to his wife Mel for 13 years.

The Northern Echo:

He also has two daughters, Abigail, nine, and Katrina, 36.

The much-loved teacher was known as a popular and passionate staff member who will be missed.

The Northern Echo:

Stokesley School headteacher, Hannah Millett said: “Darren Blyth was a popular and passionate biology teacher, liked and respected by staff and students alike. The news of his death has sent shock waves through our community. At the present time, we are supporting our students and staff with specialist services where needed, as well as continuing to liaise with Darren’s family and offer support to them where we can. Our thoughts are with them at this unimaginably difficult time.

“Today, stories of Darren have filled our school. Students, in particular, have remembered how he praised effort above ability, paying special attention to the students who he knew had tried their best rather than always those who were ‘top of the class’. As staff, we have also fondly recalled his passion for wildlife, the environment, and music.

“When it is appropriate to do so, we will work together as a community - alongside his family - to recognise Darren’s contribution to our school and the people within it. In the meantime, we have been incredibly grateful for the messages of support we have received from our parents, in particular, but also the wider community - further testament to the great teacher Darren Blyth was and the indelible mark he has left behind.”