Ann Maguire: Teacher loved by generations of ex-pupils

Ann Maguire Ann Maguire was teaching a Spanish class when she was attacked

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A teacher stabbed to death at a school in Leeds was an "inspirational" and "caring" figure remembered by generations of her former pupils.

Ann Maguire, 61, who died on Monday, had taught at Corpus Christi Catholic College for more than 40 years.

She was attacked in front of her pupils as she taught a Year 11 Spanish class.

The Most Rev Malcolm McMahon, Archbishop-elect of Liverpool, said Mrs Maguire had given her life to the school and Catholic education.

Start Quote

She gave me so much good advice to go forward with my life, and with my career and what I wanted to do”

End Quote Marianna Proietti Ex-pupil

"Thousands of young people have benefited from her kindness and hard work over many years," he said. "May she rest in peace."

Martin Dowling, chair of the governors at Corpus Christi, said Mrs Maguire was "a wonderful, dedicated teacher" who had touched the lives of many people in the local community.

The school's head, Steve Mort, said Mrs Maguire was "an outstanding teacher and leader", whose work at the school was a "vocation" rather than a career.

She taught three generations of pupils at the school, including some of the parents of her current pupils.

In all this time she put the needs of the children first, he said.

"She never gave up on pupils even at times when they may have given up on themselves."

Due to retire

Mrs Maguire, who lived in Leeds, joined Corpus Christi as a student teacher and stayed for more than four decades.

She was head of Year 11 at the school for more than 10 years.

Ann Maguire and Joseph Kilbride Former pupil Joseph Kilbride said Mrs Maguire "would always have a smile on her face"
Tribute to Ann Maguire Lucy Potter left a tribute to her teacher outside Corpus Christi

This year she had been teaching four days a week and had been due to retire in September.

Mrs Maguire leaves a husband, Donald, who runs a landscape gardening business, and two adult daughters.

One of them is Emma Maguire, a soloist at the Royal Ballet.

Joseph Kilbride, from Otley, attended Corpus Christi between 2001 and 2006:

"Mrs Maguire was an amazing person to know and to have as a teacher. If there was ever a lesson I looked forward to, it was Spanish. Every lesson would be so much fun. I wanted to drop Spanish after I achieved a D grade in year 10 but I was forced to carry on and re-sit in year 11. This is now something I am grateful for as I had another year with Mrs Maguire. She pulled me up to achieve a B. She was like a mother away from home.

I used to get bullied and she would always be the one who stood up for me and looked out for me. She would always have a smile on her face and whoever she spoke to, she would make their day better. I remember bumping into her on a random day in Headingley and she remembered me and took time to speak to me and find out what I was doing and how my life was working out.

I went back to visit the school a couple of times and each time she was very friendly and welcoming and always encouraged me to come back and visit.

If you speak to anyone who went to Corpus Christi they would highlight her as the teacher they all loved. She would always ask how you were doing. I had one incident after school where I was cornered by a gang. Afterwards I went back inside the school office and Mrs Maguire was more angry at what happened than my own mother.

After I finished my GCSEs and went back to visit the school after I started college, Mrs Maguire was there and I made sure I got a photograph with her."

Mrs Maguire's other daughter, Kerry, used to be a ballerina but after seeking help from an osteopath for an injury retrained as an osteopath herself.

'Heart of the school'

One of Mrs Maguire's former pupils, Marianna Proietti, said: "She was a pillar of the school but she was also an inspiration to so many students that went to Corpus Christi.

"She taught me religious education and Spanish - and also PE. And 30 years down the line I still remember her very fondly.

"And she gave me so much good advice to go forward with my life, and with my career and what I wanted to do."

Another former pupil, Kerianne Ayward, 17, said Mrs Maguire was "the heart of the school".

Joseph Kilbride, who attended Corpus Christi between 2001 and 2006, said she had always had a smile on her face and was "like a mother away from home".

"I used to get bullied and she would always be the one who stood up for me and looked out for me," he said.

Others called her "bubbly", "outgoing" and "very popular".

'The one we remembered'

Rebecca Lister said she, her elder sisters, 29 and 27, and her younger sister, 21, were all former pupils.

"Mrs Maguire was the one teacher we all remembered," she said.

"I remember that Mrs Maguire turned up at my house one day because my sister didn't turn up to school for her exam. Mrs Maguire came to the house because she was worried about her."

Following Mrs Maguire's lessons, one of her sisters went on to become a Spanish teacher, she said.

Lucy Potter, a pupil of Mrs Maguire's in 2009, left a tribute for her teacher outside the school.

Part of it read: "You always believed in me and took the time and effort to make sure I achieved the best I could.

"I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for you - such a caring woman who only wanted the best for each and every pupil."

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