On Monday members of Upper Shirley High School Staff gathered with the friends and family of Mary Christie, a former teacher at USH, who very sadly lost her battle with cancer earlier in the month.
Mary joined Bellemoor Boys School back in 1992 as a Supply Teacher. She worked here from that point onwards carrying out various roles including Teacher of Maths, RE and Geography, Head of Year and Head of Mariner’s House. She was a much loved and popular member of staff with pupils, parents and colleagues and people found her extremely supportive, honest, trustworthy and reliable. Mary gave a huge part of her working life to our school, eventually retiring in August 2014 after a long and successful career here.
It is to her great credit that staff have shared some memories of Mary and we have included these below.
Mary exemplified the spirit Upper Shirley High with her loyalty and commitment and we extend our heartfelt sympathy to her family at this very difficult time.
“Mary was an exceptional teacher and so much more than that a fantastic colleague. Nothing was ever too much trouble for her no matter how busy she was - she had time for everyone. We shared lots of laughter over the years and there was always a twinkle in her eye. She will be sorely missed.”
Marie Connolly, Teacher of Languages
“A hard working, straight talking, inspirational teacher who was dedicated to helping all in her care to reach their potential”
Sam Mawby, Clerk to the Governors
“When I joined school almost 10 years ago (Bellemoor at that time), Maths department was dominated by male teachers and students. Mary was the only female and my ‘rock’ ever since for 8 years. I always looked up to her as a widely experienced person, admiring her strong personality, calmness and patience. Mary was a devoted teacher, first one in the school in the morning and last one to leave, always there for the students, myself, the Maths team and anyone who needed help, support or just a friendly ‘ear’, especially ‘her Mariners’ as she used to call students and staff. Always competitive against the rival Houses, Mary led Mariners to success as a House and as each individual. It was a privilege to work with Mary and I will always remember her.”
Agnieszka Adamou, Teacher of Maths
“Mary was a wonderful colleague, dedicated and always supportive. However, I will mostly remember her as an inspirational teacher. She taught my daughter in Year 7 and, as a teacher whose first subject was not Maths, could well understand how students might find the subject difficult. My daughter lacked confidence in Maths, believing she couldn’t do it, and it was Mary who helped her overcome her fear, so that now my daughter is studying Maths at A-level.”
Rosina Mount, Senior Librarian
"A great friend right from the start when I
joined Bellemoor School 15 years ago, any problem her answer was 'Leave it with
me, I will sort it' and she did!"
Sandy Kelly, Information Officer
“Mary was an inspiration to me both personally and professionally. I will always look back with fond memories of working with her. She and I used to teach the year 11 year group together in master classes which I simply couldn’t have done without her. The students and staff both respected and liked her. She was an outstanding practitioner and a very good friend.”
Philip Taylor, Deputy Headteacher