A father who has dedicated his life to education and children across Cheshire has been made an OBE.
David Cracknell, 66, was the director of education and communities for Cheshire for 15 years, playing a leading role in the fight against drugs and striving to help disadvantaged children across the county.
Now the father-of-one, who lives in Chester, has been recognised for his past and present contributions to education after being made an OBE in the New Years Honours List.
David said he was ‘delighted’ at receiving the honour and dedicated it to his wife Lesley and son Jonathon, saying they had achieved it as a ‘family team’.
“It is really for my family,” said David, who is a professor of education at the University of Chester and director of teaching and learning for the University of Chester Academies Trust.
“They told us a while ago but they swore us to secrecy. I am delighted, it is an honour. This is really for my family, they have had to put up with me working on all sorts of things.
“As a family we are a team. It is as much for them as it is for me.”
Lesley is a former head of economics and business studies at The Queen’s School in Chester.
David oversees the operation of 10 academies and free schools. He is also the board of governors for the University Academy Birkenhead and has had a long involvement in the promotion of education partnerships, chairing partnerships of schools and colleges in Blackburn with Darwen and Oldham.
Proud father to Jonathon, 36, an international zoo vet and animal operations director at Longleat Safari Park, David is also actively involved in charity work, working with organisations across the region to help support families and children through challenging times.
Since 2005, David has chaired the board of Adoption Matters North West, and the board of CapeUK, a voluntary organisation promoting creativity in learning. He is also on the board of trustees for his local church, Kingsway Chapel in Chester.
David, who started his career in education as a French teacher and is planning to celebrate his award when he visits family in Torquay in coming weeks, said he has no plans on giving up anytime soon.
“I think there are still things I can offer,” said David.
“As soon as someone says to me I have reached the end of my shelf life I will retire.”