Former pupils remember St Albans Girls School (STAGS) teacher after sudden death
PUBLISHED: 15:00 24 September 2015 | UPDATED: 15:55 24 September 2015
The sudden death of a beloved science teacher has prompted a flood of tributes in his memory.
Dr Ray Oliver, who taught at St Albans Girls School (STAGS) for 10 years, died of a heart attack aged 68 while on holiday in Capri, Italy, earlier this month.
Ray taught at STAGS from 2001-2011 and continued to work there part time alongside tutoring up until last term.
Roshni Nagaria, one of his students, said: “I remember feeling so comforted and assured at school because I always felt that Dr Oliver had my back. He always encouraged me, always had kind words to share with me, and always supported me in my endeavours, whether science related or not. [This is] something that has remained with me to this day.”
Another, Laina Hickey, now a chemistry teacher at Verulam School, said: “Dr. Oliver was an exceptional man and inspirational chemistry teacher. I have never yet met anyone who knew as much about all things chemistry as him.
“I still remember his A-Level lessons today and use his ideas in my own lessons. I would not be where I am today without him and will be eternally grateful for his support and kindness.”
Former pupil Lauren Osbourn commented: “Literally one of the best things about STAGS was Dr Oliver. He approached everyone as equals and no matter what always had time for you and was so kind and caring. It’s such an honour to have been taught by him.”
Many have commented that his teaching went beyond his subject. Samantha Christie said; “So so sad, he was so kind and encouraging towards everyone he taught, not just about science but about everything.”
Farzana Begum, another former STAGS pupil, said: “Dr Oliver was one of the best things that could have happened to STAGS. He gave me so much confidence and always encouraged me to do my best. His wit was like no other teacher.”
Some of his former colleagues have also paid tribute. Mrs Sue Reason, head of chemistry at STAGS, said: “He was a real gentleman who had time for all the students.
“He knew how to enthuse all the pupils and he was so good at doing fun experiments. There will be lots of medics and teachers out there who he has taught.”
Mrs Jane Ainsworth, another of Ray’s former colleagues, said: “He was an exceptional human being and he had a tremendous empathy with staff and students and he had a real warmth about him.
“He was a born teacher, he had it in his blood and that shone through in his lessons.”