Craigavon Senior High School will close its doors on Thursday, September 27, following the death of staff member Lynsey Courtney.
Acting Principal Ms Ruth Harkness said the decision had not been taken lightly with a vast number of staff wishing to attend her funeral from the Lurgan and Portadown campuses of the school.
Ms Harkness said: “It is with great sadness that I am writing to inform you that a member of staff from Craigavon Senior High School tragically lost her battle with cancer and peacefully passed away on Sunday, September 23, with her family and loved ones by her side.
“Ms Lynsey Courtney has been a teaching assistant over the last nine years and also an ex-student of Craigavon Senior High School.
“As a mark of respect towards our colleague we have decided to close the school to students on the afternoon of her funeral, Thursday, September 27 from 12 noon.
“The impact Lynsey had is reflected in the vast number of staff that wish to attend the funeral and show their support for her family and fellow colleagues. Students who wish to attend the funeral may do so wearing full school uniform. It is the responsibility of parent/carer to transport your child to and from the church.
“Please be reassured I have not taken this decision lightly and we have extensively explored all of the logistical and emotional implications, but when everything is taken into consideration the correct decision is to close the school to students from 12 noon.
“Year 11 students involved in LINK will be dismissed from 11.30 am. I also appreciate the possible implications on families in arranging alternative supervision arrangements and sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
“Looking ahead and as we come to terms with our loss, we will be celebrating and providing opportunities to remember Lynsey’s life and the difference she made to so many.”
Lynsey died peacefully surrounded by her loving family in Belfast City Hospital.
Late of Loughgall Road, Portadown. Lynsey, was the devoted mother of Callum, precious daughter of Ron and Sandra, beloved sister of Keith and Gareth, and much loved Auntie of Katie-Lyn.
Funeral service on Thursday at 1.30pm in Drumcree Parish Church with committal following in the adjoining graveyard.
Family flowers only please by request.
Donations in lieu of flowers, if desired, for the benefit of Friends of Cancer, c/o Milne Funeral Services, 59 Seagoe Road, Portadown, BT63 5HS.