St John the Baptist Primary School
School website: www.stjohnthebaptistps.co.uk/
Subject: Vice Principal and SENCO.
Your place of birth: Belfast.
Studied at: St. Mary's University College and University of Ulster Jordanstown.
First job: Clerical officer, Mater Hospital.
What it taught me: My first job was working in the Mater Hospital over the summer holidays. I worked in various roles throughout the hospital including as a ward clerk and as a clerical officer in A&E. This experience taught me the importance of hard work and helped develop my ability to adapt to the demands of different roles and situations. Working in a hospital gave me an insight into the struggles and difficulties that many in our community have to face on a daily basis. It helped me understand the importance of empathy and compassion when dealing with other people.
Family/status: Married with three children.
Best advice anyone ever gave you: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. It’s only when you push yourself out of your comfort zone that you learn and develop.
Best advice you could give someone thinking of a teaching career: The best advice I could give anyone starting out on a teaching career is to strive to build trust and positive relationships with children, colleagues and parents. Remember, you are part of a team. Seek out opportunities to collaborate with and learn from others. Be ready to embrace change. The pace of change and the demands of the job can be daunting at times, but if you approach it with a positive mindset you can begin to make a difference. Try to see opportunities rather than obstacles in the challenges that you face. Work hard and put the children at the heart of everything you do. You will learn so much from them.
I was educated in Holy Cross Girls’ Primary School and Dominican College, Fortwilliam. After graduating from St Mary’s University College, I worked teaching Religious Studies at St Bernard’s R.C. Comprehensive in Barrow-in-Furness. Following a year in England I returned to Belfast and completed a Master of Business Administration in the University of Ulster at Jordanstown. In the 1990s I joined the staff of St John the Baptist Primary School and have worked there ever since.
I completed a PQH (NI) in 2012 and became Acting Vice Principal of St John the Baptist in 2014. In 2020 I was appointed Vice Principal and SENCO. This has been a challenging but rewarding role. Throughout the Covid pandemic I have worked as part of our school team to prioritise the wellbeing of our pupils. During the course of the pandemic, I have collaborated with staff, parents and outside agencies on a range of measures to meet the pastoral and learning needs of our pupils and address the particular challenges posed by lockdown.
I am lucky to work in a vibrant school community with an incredibly talented, committed staff team and a supportive Principal who have all enabled me to grow in this role.