The woman who ‘greatly influenced’ Jayalalithaa is no more

The woman who ‘greatly influenced’ Jayalalithaa is no more

There are teachers and then there are those who are more than just teachers. Catherine Simon, who taught Chief Minister Jayalalithaa at the Presentation Convent in Church Park, Chennai and who passed away in the city on Wednesday afternoon, belongs to the second category.

“I was shocked and grieved to learn of the passing away of Catherine Simon, my teacher in Presentation Convent, Church Park, Chennai,” Jayalalithaa said in a statement.

The woman who 'greatly influenced' Jayalalithaa is no more

The woman who ‘greatly influenced’ Jayalalithaa is no more

“She was a great influence on my life and we shared a very special relationship as a teacher and student.” Stating that Catherine dedicated her life to teaching, she said, “I had the good fortune of being her student,” from 1958 to 1964.

She said her teacher was an inspiration to generations of girl students and her qualities of compassion and firmness honed hundreds of young people to grow up as responsible citizens. “May her soul rest in peace,” she concluded.

Simon had taught Physical Training at Church Park between 1950 and 1969, but for Jayalalithaa, she was clearly so much more.