'She was such a giving person' – family and colleagues pay tribute following death of much loved former Sunderland headteacher

Heartfelt tributes have been paid to former Sunderland headteacher Carolyn Murray who has sadly passed away following a short battle with cancer.

By Neil Fatkin
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 5:09 pm

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Carolyn was diagnosed with cancer before Christmas and tragically passed away just two-and-a-half weeks later on Monday, January 10, at the age of 57.

After being born and raised in Sunderland, the dedicated headteacher trained at the city’s university before taking up her first teaching position at Thorney Close Primary School before moving to East Herrington Primary Academy. Carolyn then took up the position of deputy headteacher at Eppleton Academy Primary School before spending seven years as the school’s headteacher.

During a distinguished 23 year career in Sunderland the much loved teacher touched the hearts and minds of thousands of children. However it’s her role as a wife, mother and daughter that she will be remembered first and foremost.

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Husband Graeme Murray said: “Carolyn, my beautiful wife on the inside and out is no longer with us, but her memory and legacy lives on in our family, and in the many, many lives she has touched over the years, especially through her years in the teaching profession, right up to her time as headteacher.

"My Carolyn, my wife, my best friend, my confidant, my soul mate.”

Daughter Eve Goodman, 31, added: “She was such a giving person in terms of her time. As children, she was always taking me and my sisters to events and competitions and she took this principle into her teaching career.

Former Sunderland headteacher, Carolyn Murray, has sadly passed away after a short battle with cancer.

"Improving the lives of the children she taught was at the heart of everything mam did and every school really benefited from that. Whatever school she worked in she became very much part of that community.”

Carolyn’s deep-seated care for the children she taught was also at the heart of daughter Miriam Goodman’s tribute.

Miriam, 27, said: “Mam was just really passionate about the children she taught and communities she served. She passionately believed that every child deserved access to the best possible education.”

However, it’s as a much loved mother and grandmother to grandson Roman, that she will be most fondly remembered.

Miriam said: “Mam had a very dry sense of humour and was always up for a giggle. She loved her family and also loved her dogs and enjoyed taking them for walks.

"Growing up in Sunderland, she attended Southmoor Secondary School and was passionate about the city. She loved to go to the Empire Theatre and occasionally went to see games at the Stadium of Light.”

Staff and governors at Eppleton Academy said they were “devastated by the news” and their “heart-felt thoughts are with Carolyn’s family”.

Academy Director, David Wallace, who was part of the governing body during Carolyn’s headship, said: “Carolyn was a valued headteacher who really moved the school on. She always saw the school as being a focal part of the community and she played a leading role in the construction of a new communal building for everyone to use.

"She will be sadly missed by the children she taught and members of staff she has helped to progress. Carolyn always had a smile and enthusiasm for everything she did.”

In 2016, Carolyn moved to Cumbria to take-up a headship in Carlisle. She also leaves behind her 82-year-old mother, Jennie Temple and third daughter Ruth Goodman.

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