13 June 2023

Jack Gillespie

Jack Gillespie

We were utterly devastated to hear the shocking news over the weekend that Jack Gillespie has passed away. Our heartfelt thoughts and love are with Jack’s family and friends as they start to process this tragic event and grieve for the enormous loss everyone who knew him will be experiencing.  

Jack joined The Swanage School as a Year 8 student in 2018. He was instantly well liked and respected because he was genuine, warm and kind – always. Whilst at the school he discovered a passion and talent for acting and musical theatre. He thrived on stage and performed principal roles in several of our annual productions, including ‘Hairspray’, ‘Fame’ and ‘Little Shop of Horrors’. He lit up the stage and he lit up the school. Jack completed his GCSEs in 2021 and on leaving TSS, he hoped to pursue his aspirations for a career within Performing Arts. We have no doubt he would have been a success at whatever he chose to do. 

Staff have spoken of their memories of Jack. He will be remembered as a kind, funny and talented young man who was a hardworking and thoughtful key member of the school community. He was always an obvious choice for Head Boy; he absolutely deserved the highest honour we could give him. He had an infectious personality, was a mentor, role model and support to younger students, always cheerful and charming, making everyone around him smile. Jack would often tell the school and the local community that The Swanage School ‘changed his life’; staff members here say he also changed theirs, for the better, and that they will never forget what a special and exceptional young man he was.  

Many students, past and present, knew Jack and will be deeply shocked and saddened by his death; they will feel a huge loss and miss his warm friendship. Grief counsellors will be available to groups or individuals over the coming weeks, and our pastoral team will continue to support students and staff affected by this terrible news. 

Our deepest condolences to all who knew and loved Jack.  

Jenny Maraspin