From my early days as a pupil at Ballyclare HS it was my ambition to become a teacher. To have been able to teach in this historic Institution over parts of 5 different decades has been an amazing experience, and has provided me with incredible memories. As well as teaching Geography, I have been fortunate to hold a variety of different positions in Inst and for the last 21 years to have been part of the Senior Leadership Team. There is saying that goes – when it comes to work, ‘Do what you love and love what you do!’ I can honestly say that every day for the last 37 years that is what I have been able to do.
From the era of chalk & talk to the i-generation, my time at RBAI, has been filled with wonderful friendships, enormous fun and has passed incredibly quickly. I almost retired last summer, but I am so pleased that I decided to stay on for one more year. I would not have wanted to to miss out on all of the successes we have enjoyed this year. The outstanding Autumn & Spring concerts, being able to present both the UK and Irish Junior Rally Driver Champion trophies, seeing our swimmers beat the best schools from across the UK to win the magnificent Bath Cup, the Senior Golf and the Senior Badminton teams winning their respective All Ireland titles, the cricket teams retaining the McCullough Cup, the Medallion Shield being retained and especially seeing the Schools Cup come home for the 30th time. Given my love of football, to see the 1st XI win the U18 Schools League this year, a first for the school was very special.
I feel incredibly fortunate to enjoy the relationship that I have with the boys present and past, the receptions that they have given me on Founders Days, at their Formals, my last assembly and when I took my seat at Ravenhill for the Schools Cup homecoming party are wonderful memories to take away with me. When I thought I had seen it all, the ‘likes’ and the comments posted on the Belfast Old Instonians Facebook tribute have been amazing. I am so ‘proud to belong’, it has been a huge honour to have been part of Team RBAI for 37 years and as I prepare to leave at the end of this term, I do so in the knowledge that we stand on the foundations of our illustrious past, thanks to the Governors, my colleagues and current generation of pupils, we enjoy a hugely successful and exciting present and I am confident that the future is bright and will be dominated by the yellow and black. I look forward to following the successes of the school from a more relaxed position on the sidelines in the years ahead.
♯proudtobelong ♯flyinghigh ♯miasanmia ♯yellowandblackbadger