A MUCH-LOVED head teacher who was at the helm of a York school for 22 years has died aged 91.

Sister Teresa Helena Curley, who was head of St Wilfrid’s RC Primary School in Monkgate from 1972 to 1994, died on November 9.

Sister Teresa was born in Galway, Ireland and joined the order of the Sisters of Charity of St Paul the Apostle at the age of 18. After qualifying as a teacher, she taught in schools in Bradford and in Birstall as a head before moving to York.

Her years at St Wilfrid’s culminated in the refurbishment of the old school which was formed in Monkgate in 1875 by the Sisters.

The marrying of the old building with the new commenced in the summer of 1992 and was completed in the year of Sister Teresa’s retirement, 1994.

Kath Campbell who worked alongside Sister Teresa as the school secretary at St Wilfrid’s remembers how she guided the pupils and staff through the harrowing 18 months of building work with the her core values of `care, courtesy and concern.

Kath said: “Sister was loved by all with whom she came into contact and was gifted with the skill of listening to others. She was a friend to many and will be sadly missed by all those who had the privilege of meeting and knowing her.”

Outside of school life, Sister Teresa carried out pastoral work in many parts of the city assisting families in need, giving both material and spiritual help.

After retirement, she continued to use her teaching and organisational skills in Romania where she spent 12 years and helped set up and establish schools for younger children. St Wilfrid’s continued to support Sister Teresa in providing essential educational equipment surplus to the school’s requirement, for her use in Romania.

Sister Teresa died peacefully at her Convent in Birmingham a few days before her 92nd birthday, after a life dedicated to her faith and the education of young people. Her Requiem Mass was held in Birmingham on November 18.