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Murdered Ann was family's 'rock'

Ann Maguire has been remembered as an inspirational teacher to generations of children and the "rock" at the centre of her close family.

Her violent killing in April was the focus of huge media attention - the senseless killing of someone who seemed to stand for all that is good about teachers.

But it was also a deeply personal tragedy for her family who have seemed bemused at times by the massive public focus on their mother's murder at a time of intense, private grief.

Colleagues have said she would have been uncomfortable being held up as a paragon and would have winced at the thought of the spotlight that has been shone on her since her death.

Mrs Maguire (61) had taught at Corpus Christi Catholic College, in Leeds, for more than 40 years and was due to retire in September.

She taught Spanish and RE and was regarded as the "mother of the school", its "heartbeat".

One colleague said: "If you cut Ann Maguire in half you would see 'Corpus Christi' running through her."

For the past decade she had been responsible for the children in their GCSE year and the consistent sentiment among the hundreds of tributes that have been made to her was that she never gave up on children, even if they had given up on themselves.

Mrs Maguire believed passionately in cultivating aspiration.

At her memorial service in September, her daughter Kerry told crowds gathered outside: "One of Ann's principles as a teacher was 'you can never put a limit on a child's potential'.''

At the same service a film was shown in which pupils were asked to use one word to describe Mrs Maguire. They said she was "perfect'', "passionate'', "fantastic'', "amazing'' and "warm''.

Pupils have talked about her love of music - cajoling reluctant boys, into the school choir she ran for years - and her love of playing the guitar, even in Spanish lessons.

hnews@herald.ie


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