Tributes to a caring teacher

TRIBUTES have been paid to a much-loved Garstang teacher and mother-of-three who has died suddenly.

Thursday, 20th January 2011, 11:46 am

SS Mary and Michael RC Primary School teacher Christina Parker, aged 50, taught hundreds of pupils in her ten years at the school , where she was one of the leaders in PE, RE and worship.

The body of Mrs Parker, who lived in Lancaster, was discovered on January 3 by her children and sister after they returned from a family Christmas reunion. She had been feeling unwell and had missed the party to get some rest and had died suddenly from a pulmonary embolism.

Mrs Parker’s sister Nicky Partington said their tragic loss had left a “very big hole” in the family and the school community. She described the former nurse and midwife as a, caring and devoted mother and teacher.

“That care “went on into the lives of the children at school. She loved her teaching job – St Mary and Michael’s was her second teaching post and her daughters Rachel and Emily also went there. She was very much a part of the community,” said Nicky.

Mrs Parker grew up in Blackpool and was one of five children of Joan and Peter Partington. She attended Holy Family Primary Schooland later Layton Hill Convent and then studied at Arnold Sixth Form.

She moved to Crieff in Scotland where she was house mistress to 40 boys before training to become a nurse. After completing her training she went to Southampton to qualify further as a midwife.

Mrs Parker returned to Blackpool to work in a local hospital before taking time out to raise her children Daniel, 23, Rachel, 19, and 12-year-old Emily.

An avid reader, she returned to studies to complete a biology degree before achieving her PGCE teacher training qualification and starting her teaching career in Middlesborough.

After moving back to Lancashire with her family, she took up her teaching post at St Mary and Michael RC Primary School.

Nicky added: “The support from the head, teachers, governors and all at school has been overwhelming.

“The care and support they have shown has been a huge comfort, Christina was very much a part of the school life and will be greatly missed”

Headteacher Cathryn Wilkinson said the school community had been left in deep shock and sadness at the tragic loss.

She said: “Her calm and caring nature permeated our school and touched all those she worked with and taught. Mrs Parker had worked in school for some ten years; her second teaching post, after a time working as a nurse, then midwife. Her own children had attended school and the family were very much part of the parish community.

“Mrs Parker will be greatly missed by all of us and remembered for many reasons; especially her enjoyment in leading school in PE and sport development and RE and Worship. A great friend, a caring colleague and an inspirational teacher.”