Dalriada principal looks back on successful year

LOWER Sixth Form at Dalriada School's  Speech Day.INBM39-13 001SC.
LOWER Sixth Form at Dalriada School's Speech Day.INBM39-13 001SC.

“It has been a memorable year for Dalriada as we celebrated our 75th Anniversary on the St. James’s Road site in style,” said principal Tom Skelton as he addressed pupils and guests at the school’s annual Speech Day.

As reduced funding for education continues to have a detrimental effect on schools, Dalriada again avoided any compulsory redundancies by the prudent use of our financial resources. My thanks go to our Bursar, Mr. David Balmer for his efficient use of School finances.

“As schools face an increasingly challenging future, including funding issues, the demands of the Entitlement Framework and the ongoing threat of the Education Skills Authority, I am confident that Dalriada will continue to flourish and provide a high quality educational experience for all pupils in our care. Despite these external pressures, Dalriada goes from strength to strength. Our external examination results confirm our position as one of the top grammar schools in the Province.

“This has been a memorable year for Dalriada with governors, staff, pupils, parents and friends of Dalriada all playing their part in making sure we celebrated our landmark year in style. I want to pay particular tribute to all our staff who contributed to our celebratory events in addition to providing high quality teaching, outstanding pastoral care and

a superb range of extra curricular activities.

After 32 years as a teacher at Dalriada, Ms. Ettaline Wasson retired in June 2013. As Head of the Mathematics Department, Ettaline ensured that the results gained by pupils in GCSE and A Level were outstanding. She was rightly proud of these results for all the pupils in her care.

“Ettaline also enjoyed taking Badminton Club and accompanied pupils on the school ski trip several times.

“This year Mrs. Sharon Flynn also retired after 25 years of service at Dalriada. In 2001 she was appointed Head of English and she earned the respect of colleagues and pupils alike for her high quality teaching and her meticulous preparation and planning. Outside the classroom her greater legacy to Dalriada has been her contribution to dramatic

productions. Sharon produced an amazing eleven school shows and played an invaluable role in maintaining Dalriada’s reputation for high quality drama.

“We also said goodbye to Mrs. Gillian McConnell after a 21 year association with the school, 7 years as a pupil and 14 years as a teacher in the Preparatory Department. Over the last two year’s during the phased closure of the Prep. Department, Gillian continued to provide outstanding teaching and pastoral care for her pupils, allowing them to fulfil their potential. The excellent results gained by her pupils in the transfer tests bear testimony to the quality of her teaching.

“Ms. Thelma Wallace also left in June after a 26 year association with the School. Originally appointed to support Science and Modern Language, Thelma progressed to the ICT Department and for the last 15 years has delivered the popular and successful ECDL and RSA enrichment courses to our Sixth Form students.

“After a long association with Dalriada, classroom assistant Mrs. Jennifer Gilmour retired in June. Her calm, caring nature has been evident throughout her time in Dalriada. She has given an immense amount to the school in terms of pastoral care, office administration, school plays, floral decorations and anything else that she could help out with.

“Classroom assistant Mrs. Jennifer Hiscock also left Dalriada after 7 years as classroom assistant in the Preparatory Department. During this time Jenny ran a very popular after-school club and she also played her part in maintaining morale in the Prep. Department over the last 2 years.

“In conclusion I thank our governors and staff for their sheer effort and devotion to the pupils and the work of the school. I commend our pupils for their commitment to study at school and at home to achieve academic success and also for their huge contribution to extra curricular activities.

“Finally, thank you their parents for the many hours spent supporting your child’s education at home and also for supporting parents’ nights and other school events.

“The school year 2012-13 has certainly been a year where we celebrated our historical landmark in style with a host of memorable events enjoyed by all. But now that the reports and photographs have been lovingly archived by Mr. Dalriada, Science technician Bert Johnston, it is time to get back to basics and do what this great school does best – promote the

holistic development of every child in our care.”