Virginia (Ginny) Aitken passed away on Friday.
Tributes have been paid to a popular former teacher at a County Derry school.
Virginia (Ginny) Aitken taught at Rainey Endowed School in Magherafelt for many years.
Mrs Aitken passed away on Friday at her home in Magherafelt.
A spokesperson for Rainey Endowed said they were saddened to hear of her death.
“Mrs Aitken had a long and distinguished teaching career in the Rainey, beginning in 1979,” the spokesperson said.
“Mrs Aitken was a well respected English teacher who was much loved by her pupils.
“She was editor of the school magazine and was responsible for numerous drama productions including ‘Toad of Toad Hall’, ‘Macbeth’, ‘Our Town’, ‘Oliver Twist’, ‘Tom Sawyer’ and ‘Bugsy Malone’, to name just a few.
“Mrs Aitken was an accomplished author, having had a number of novels published.
“Our deepest sympathies go to her children and the wider family circle at this time,” concluded the school's spokesperson.
Former pupils and colleagues of Mrs Aitken paid tribute to her on the school's Facebook page.
Ashley Fulton wrote: “I was so very sad to hear this news earlier today. Very fond memories of her from school and various productions. She was an inspirational lady. My thoughts are with her family and friends.”
Gillian Brown wrote: “I remember her as an enthusiastic and inspiring teacher in the classroom and I was also lucky enough to work behind the scenes on some of the amazing productions listed above. Above all I will remember Queen records being played in her home which blew my mind having grown up on country music and Elvis in my own home.”
Margaret Hamilton wrote: “Very sad to hear this morning of Ginny’s death. She was a valued colleague and good friend and I have wonderful memories of our time together on the Rainey staff and in later years in retirement. Deepest sympathies to Ian, Lynne, John and Claire on their sad loss."
Michelle Rowe wrote: “Mrs Aitken was my favourite teacher at the Rainey and I have so many great memories of time spent in her English class. She was an inspirational teacher and I will also admit to being a teeny tiny bit of afraid of her! She set the bar high and pupils strove to meet her expectations. A wonderful wonderful lady.”
Mark Greer wrote: “Deepest sympathies to the family. An exceptional lady, who left a lasting impression on many. She encouraged and inspired. Despite the difficult times, take comfort in the memories being shared here. You most certainly have a great deal to be proud of.”
Mrs Aitken, who was predeceased by her husband Henry Chance, is survived by her children Ian, Lynne, John and Clare.
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