THE family of a devoted English teacher who "adored" her children have paid tribute their "wonderful and loving" mother.

Stephanie Brettle was described as a "fantastic" English teacher who always went the extra mile. She had been at Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan since 2001.

Stephanie had children Jaynie and Sean Brettle and partner Darren Wrighting.

The dog lover, who used to walk others’ dogs with friends and even started a business dog walking and looking after dogs called The Dog Stop, was a massive part of the English department at Emrys ap Iwan.

The family and school community have been left distraught by the loss of Stephanie.

A spokesperson from the school said: "Steph was a wonderful and loving mother to Jaynie and Sean Brettle. She adored her children and set out to do everything in her power to support them and encourage them. She used to take Jaynie to dance shows and chaperone other children whilst there, freely giving up her time for others.

"Sean was part of the Air Cadets which Steph used to support him with. She was fiercely protective of both her children and worked hard to balance her career with family time.

"The English department are missing Steph terribly and are all aware that the next weeks and months will be challenging.

"Staff at the school have come in on their days off to support the department and other colleagues affected by this sudden loss.

"The outpouring of grief and loss for her has been immense as staff and learners have worked hard to keep lessons running, but also allow each other to grieve. Counsellors have been brought into support those in the school and all learners have been spoken to and encouraged to talk about their loss."

Stephanie's family said they had been overwhelmed by the support, love and gratitude of pupils and colleagues past and present.

Darren said he had been left distraught and heartbroken but has many fond memories of Steph.

"Myself and the family would like to extend our thanks to family and friends who have supported the family during this difficult time," he added.

One teacher at Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan said: "She is irreplaceable. It’s that simple.

"She gave everything to her friends and family and would do anything to help others out.

"I remember going to events with her and she would make us laugh out loud with her antics. She was such a vibrant person and such fun to be around. You always knew when she was around. She was one of the few people I would trust completely.

"One time, I even remember her giving up her lunch to a student to get them to complete a piece of coursework. That’s what she was like. That kind of dedication is rare in anyone nowadays."

Lee Cummins, headteacher, said: "The whole school community is saddened by the loss of Stephanie Brettle.

"Stephanie has been a teacher at the school since 2001 and throughout her time at the school she has approached everything with absolute commitment.

"She was a fantastic English teacher who cared passionately about the way every single young person in her class progressed. She was always willing to go the extra mile and learners loved her for it.

"The thoughts of our whole school community are with her family at this very sad time."

The picture shown is Stephanie hiding under a desk - which she often did and then would jump out and ‘raar’ at people!