Janice Biondini, creative ‘born teacher’ who chatted to all
'She touched so many lives - people she taught 30 or 40 years ago still remember her. She was a great joy.'
29 October, 2018 — By Helen Chapman
A HEADTEACHER who taught across the borough since the 1970s has died shortly before her 70th birthday.
Janice Biondini taught at Fleet and Richard Cobden schools before becoming deputy headteacher at St Mark’s School, Islington, and later the headteacher at Holy Trinity School, Chalk Farm. Her final post was at St George the Martyr Primary, Holborn, where she was headteacher from 1989 before retiring in 2001.
Her daughter, Amy Biondini, 38, said: “The school was struggling when she first arrived but she helped stabilise it. She loved the children, the multicultural school, the diversity and getting children involved and excited in what they were learning.”
She added: “She touched so many lives. People she taught 30 or 40 years ago still remember her. She was a great joy, so vibrant and outgoing, smiley and laughing and just a genuinely nice person. She always said hi and would always listen.”
Helen Tanner, who first met Janice while teaching at Richard Cobden Primary School in 1971, said: “Janice was a born teacher, it was all she ever wanted as a career, even as a young child, and she took on every opportunity to engage in teaching experiences because she was so committed. She inspired her pupils in the primary stage of their education and lately if she happened to bump into any of her pupils in the street they were delighted to meet her again.”
After her retirement, Janice helped out at a community centre near her home, helping children make cards. She would encourage them to create something from their imagination rather than telling them what to do – a testament to her creative teaching style.
She travelled to Germany, France, Italy, Russia and Estonia with friends and family where she would visit galleries, museums, churches and try out the local foods. But when at home, she loved to go out on walks with her dogs, Bertie and Barnaby, where she’d talk to everyone she met.
Having lived in her Tollington Park flat for 36 years, Janice knew everyone and no trip out was a short one. Janice was born in the Whittington Hospital in 1948 and died at the same hospital five days before her 70th birthday.
Her funeral took place on Tuesday at Islington crematorium. She leaves behind her brother Stephen, 66, her sister Maria, 68, and nieces and nephews Jason, Wendy, Melanie, Tara and Paul.