On behalf of the Board of Management I welcome Gerry Quinn, a teacher of longstanding in St Fergal’s College, as our new Principal. Gerry spent many years here as a successful and respected teacher of History and Geography. I am confident that he will make a smooth transition to Principal. The progress that has been made by Gerry, and all of the staff, in the current very challenging Covid-19 circumstances is impressive. I thank them all for that and of course the parents and students who have shown a remarkable level of co-operation. Our former Principal Dominic McEvoy also deserves praise for his professionalism during the changeover and indeed for his important contribution as Principal over the last two years. I wish him well in his retirement.
Gerry has extensive experience both as a teacher and in related education fields. He was conferred with a Doctorate in Education from Dublin City University (DCU) and taught in a part-time capacity as a university tutor for the Postgraduate Diploma in School Leadership (PDSL). This involved teaching aspiring school leaders in a module on leading school transformation which is co-ordinated by the internationally respected UCD Professor of Education, Ciaran Sugrue.
Gerry was also Chairperson of the Teaching Council which was established on a statutory basis in 2006 to promote teaching as a profession, to promote teachers’ professional development and to regulate standards in the profession. He was an active chairperson at a time when the Teaching Council’s practices and procedures were evolving. An important example of this was his role in ensuring that the Droichead induction programme, for newly qualified teachers, is an exclusively supportive experience and not also another form of inspection.
His dedication to a properly organised, funded and resourced education system, is well known. Both as President of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) and as an Assistant General Secretary for that union he demonstrated an energetic commitment to teachers and to education as a right which should be inclusive, democratic and effective for students, society and the economy. Notwithstanding his valuable national educational experience Gerry has always shown a great loyalty to St Fergal’s College. Indeed, while he has secured many successes for teachers and our education system from negotiations with senior civil servants and a Minister of Education and Skills, in many ways his educational heart lies with the students, parents and teachers in our school. Having been briefly employed elsewhere I welcome Gerry’s return to St Fergal’s College. We work well together and I am confident that we will continue to do so for the benefit of our school.
Cllr John King
Chairperson of the Board of Management