Abbey Community College
Subject: Maths and Designated Teacher.
Your place of birth: Larne.
Studied at: Stranmillis University College.
First job: Newtownabbey Community High School.
What it taught me: As a beginning teacher, I quickly realised that having a strong, supportive network of staff would lead to great professional guidance, advice and support. This has enabled me to feel confident and prepared to put myself forward for management positions as they have arisen throughout my career.
Best advice anyone ever gave you: Always keep a stash of your favourite treats in your top drawer! You never know when you will need it – to celebrate the highs or for comfort in the lows.
Best advice you could give someone thinking of a teaching career: Be genuine. No matter who you interact with in your role as an educator, be it other staff, students or parents, let them see the raw, sincere and genuine passion you have for your role. This will help to build trust and strong relationships; placing the young person at the centre of all you do.
I graduated Stranmillis University College in 2008 with a Bachelor of Education and was fortunate to take up a teaching post straight out of University at Newtownabbey Community High School. Within a couple of years, I was awarded a Head of Year position – little did I know back then it would be the start of a very rewarding pastoral journey. On amalgamation of Newtownabbey Community High School and Monkstown Community School forming Abbey Community College, I continued in a pastoral role as Head of Year until my promotion to Head of Junior School in 2018. Further, in 2021 I became a member of the Senior Leadership Team with the responsibility of Designated Teacher for Child Protection and Safeguarding.
In my role I aim to ensure every student feels valued and their voice heard. I feel extremely privileged to help support young people in their academic journey as part of our Abbey family.