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School head's tribute to 'wonderful teacher' ahead of funeral

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Sudden death: Laurelhill Community College teacher Caroline Flynn

Sudden death: Laurelhill Community College teacher Caroline Flynn

Sudden death: Laurelhill Community College teacher Caroline Flynn

The principal of a Lisburn secondary school has paid tribute to one of his most valued staff members ahead of her funeral today.

James Martin, head of Laurelhill Community College, was speaking following the death of Caroline Flynn, who taught there for more than 25 years.

Ms Flynn (50) died suddenly at her home in Belfast on Tuesday.

Staff and pupils at the school are mourning the popular teacher's passing.

Ms Flynn taught French and Spanish and was head of the school's modern languages department.

The school cancelled its annual celebration of success evening last night and today's planned GCSE options event for Year 10 pupils as a mark of respect for her.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Martin led tributes to his popular and respected colleague. He said: "Caroline was an excellent communicator and a great teacher who really engaged with her students.

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"She was dynamic and interactive in her teaching method and in some ways, she was ahead of her time.

"Her classes were less about chalk and talk but more focused on the conversational aspect.

"As well as teaching students, she would have also accompanied them on school trips to France and Spain in the past.

"Everyone in the school has been deeply shocked at Caroline's untimely death and I know she will be sadly missed by so many colleagues, past and present."

Hundreds of past pupils have also paid tribute to Ms Flynn on social media, describing her as "a wonderful teacher and a lovely person".

One former student said yesterday: "She was a wonderful teacher, one of my favourites. She'll be dearly missed."

Another said: "She was one of the few teachers I remember in my school years who actually tried and took the time with you.

"She was down to earth and levelled with you."

Another former student added: "Such a talented teacher who was so enthusiastic about her subject and the children she taught. I had the pleasure of learning Spanish from her between 98-03.

"Some of the best memories from school are from her class."

A native of Ballymena, Ms Flynn attended Ballymena Academy and later studied at Queen's University, Belfast. She is survived by her mother Elizabeth, brother Nigel, twin sister Margaret, nephews, nieces and family circle. Her funeral service will take place in Henry's Funeral Parlour, Broughshane Street in Ballymena at 1pm this afternoon and she will be laid to rest afterwards in Ballymena cemetery.


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