TRIBUTES have been paid to a much-loved teacher and mum-of-two whose "smile lit up a room". 

Nichala Gallivan was aged just 36 when she tragically died from breast cancer last month after a long battle with the disease. 

Nichala - also known as Nic - joined Katharine Lady Berkeley's in 2010 working as an English and film studies teacher as well as a sixth form tutor.

She has been described by her family, friends and colleagues as "beautiful, caring and funny" who was passionate about educating and supporting her students. 

Nichala died at St David's Hospice in Newport surrounded by her loved ones on Tuesday, March 5.

Arran Gallivan, Nichala's husband and father of their two children, Naevia (ten) and Angus (eight), wrote a tribute to his "all-around wonderful wife".

"She really was one of a kind and will be missed by all," he said. 

Gazette Series: Family photo

Arran joked and said that Nichala will be "sat on a purple cloud with two boobs, hair; drinking a cider or glass of wine looking over those I love."

Nichala was born in Berlin in 1987, with her family settling in Newport when she was nine.

She studied at Hartridge High School and later attended the University of South Wales to study English before starting her teaching career at KLB. 

Nichala was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2022 and received treatment for the next 18 months until being cleared in the summer of 2023.

She returned to KLB in September 2023 but was taken ill again in early December 2023.

Her family held a celebration of her life on Thursday, April 11 at Gwent Crematorium in Cwmbran, with people encouraged to wear anything comfy, as requested by Nichala.

Gazette Series: Much-loved teacher and mum-of-two Nichala Gallivan died at the age of 36 after being diagnosed with breast cancerMuch-loved teacher and mum-of-two Nichala Gallivan died at the age of 36 after being diagnosed with breast cancer (Image: Family photo)

"She faced her illness with incredible courage"

KLB headteacher Hannah Khan described Nichala as a "remarkable person" who had left a positive impact on the lives of many young people. 

Ms Khan also said the school has flown the Welsh flag at half-mast in Nichala's memory.

"I had the privilege of working closely with Nichala for many years, particularly in her role as a sixth form tutor," she said.

"She was a remarkable person who cared deeply for all the children in her care. 

"Even as she was undergoing treatment last year, it was clear that her priority was to raise awareness of the disease. 

"Nichala's spirit was unbreakable and she faced her illness with incredible courage and grace, inspiring everyone around her. 

"Her death brings a profound sense of loss for the school community."

Hundreds of tributes have poured in for Nichala and so far more than £4,700 has been raised in support of St David's Hospice. 

KLB head girl Natasha Kerr tackled the gruelling David Goggins challenge, running four miles, every four hours, for 48 hours.

Meanwhile, members of Nichala's family are also planning to cycle 37 miles as part of the Dalmatian Bike Ride on Saturday, June 8. 

"We are so proud of her and so devastated by our loss"

A family member said: "Nichala was such a beautiful and strong young lady, a mum and wife.

"We are so proud of her achievements and so devastated by our loss.

"Nichala spent her last four weeks at St David's Hospice who were brilliant, helping Nic and the family come to terms with those last precious days.

"One of Nichala's last wishes was for us to ensure we showed our gratitude to the whole of St David's team.

"Our target is £20,000 and we hope people can support us in this massive task."

You can donate to Nichala's family's fundraising page here -

You can donate to KLB’s fundraising page here -