Esteemed principal of St Caireall's PS set to retire

Esteemed principal of St Caireall's PS set to retire
William Smith


William Smith


When Mairead McHugh was a pupil of St Caireall's Primary School, Aghyaran, she never envisaged that she would one day become principal.

However, she would go on to do just that, and she was the first ever past pupil to take up the role!

And now, after a prolific career spanning 25 years at the popular primary on the Trienamongan Road, near Castlederg, she will hang up her teaching hat.

Mrs McHugh, who returned to St Caireall's in September 1981 as a young teacher and later progressed to principal, has strived tirelessly over the years to enhance the profile and educational offerings of the school.

Reflecting on her career, Mrs McHugh said: "I suppose one of the highlights over the past quarter of a century is the exceptionally strong community link there has been between St. Caireall's PS and the community within the parish of Aghyaran.

"We have had many, many events within the school campus, including rural craft displays, sheep shearing exhibition, dog trials, combine harvester visiting the school, pantomimes, concerts, historical trips and trips to farms to name a few.

"Another highlight was the close working partnership between St Caireall's and our local football club, St Davog's GFC. Over my years as principal, we have had great support from the club and some of our past pupils have gone on to represent their county.

"For me, the notable achievement has been to see the way in which past pupils have progressed in a variety of chosen careers and been successful in so many walks of life.

"Another achievement is the way in which the staff both past and present have worked together as a team to have accomplished so many things over the past 25 years, not least to have been awarded 'Outstanding' in our last inspection report.

"The development of the St. Caireall's Community Playschool on the school site has also brought me great joy over the past ten years to see it now as a successful pre-school provider with DENI status and funding for our local children.

"Having spent so many years of my life in St Caireall's P.S., it has become a second home and the staff and pupils a second family. Retiring for me brings mixed emotions. However , I am looking forward to having more time to spend with my family, my husband Kevin, our daughters Emer, Niamh and Fionnuala and their partners. Also our son Michael and his partner and my two precious grandsons Micheal and Braidan."

Mrs McHugh concluded: "I want to offer good wishes to the future of this very special school – St. Caireall's Primary School, Aghyaran and success and happiness to my successor, Mrs Michelle Ellis."

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