School closes for teacher's funeral

PUBLISHED: 13:04 26 February 2009 | UPDATED: 21:41 31 May 2010

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SCHOOLCHILDREN, staff and former pupils will mourn the death of a much loved and respected teacher at her funeral tomorrow (Friday February 27). Mother-of-three Jill McMahon, a teacher for 16 years at the Mountfitchet Mathematics and Computing College i

SCHOOLCHILDREN, staff and former pupils will mourn the death of a "much loved and respected" teacher at her funeral tomorrow (Friday February 27).

Mother-of-three Jill McMahon, a teacher for 16 years at the Mountfitchet Mathematics and Computing College in Stansted, died of cancer on February 14.

Headteacher Jo Mullis said: "The school will be closed for the day as all of the staff and many of her pupils will attend the service at St Mary's Church in Saffron Walden.

"She was an amazing woman who earned the love and respect of her pupils and colleagues - she will be greatly missed."

English teacher Miss McMahon, 56, who lived in Saffron Walden, died at the Arthur Rank House hospice, Cambridge, after a six-month battle with the disease. Her three daughters Emma, 28, Sarah, 25 and Amy 19 were with her.

"It was a massive shock for the whole school when she died," Miss Mullis. "She was a head of year, which is one of the most demanding jobs in a secondary school, and every pupil passed through her hands.

"She never had to shout at pupils - one of her disapproving looks was enough. She worked so hard for the good of the school and was a representative for the PTA and involved with many of the students' extra-curricular activities."

After joining the school in 1992 Miss McMahon resigned in July last year in order to spend more time with her family. She died during the recent half-term break.

"Of course we knew that she was very ill, but Monday after the half-term was a very sad day for the school," said Miss Mullis. "We held a special assembly for the students and I wrote to all of the parents. I understand that many tributes for Jill have been written on Facebook."

The school's production of the musical Grease will go ahead in memory of Miss McMahon and a collection will be held at the end for Arthur Rank House where she spent the last week of her life.

The service will be held at 11.30am in St Mary's Church and people are welcome to attend. Family flowers only are requested and donations can be made to the hospice.

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