In his address to a large audience of parents and invited guests, the principal Mr Gerard Adams spoke of the imminent changes that lie in store for St Michael’s and its two Junior High School partners.
The process leading to the establishment of a new school, St Ronan’s College, in September 2015 had been long and challenging, originating with a decision by the Trustees of the three schools in 2005 to initiate a review into post-primary education within the Catholic sector in the north Lurgan area.
There had been much discussion and debate in the intervening period and strongly held views and long established loyalties meant that proposals for change, whatever they might be, would almost inevitably meet with antagonism and antipathy.
However, Mr. Adams urged caution against falling into “the comfort zone argument”.
He said: “The contention that we like where we are is never a stimulus for improvement. It is an emotional argument, and emotional arguments are generally not smart arguments”.
He also drew attention to the proposed new school building, planning for which is continuing, and declared that the children of Lurgan had a right to the same high level of educational accommodation and the same quality of facilities and resources as those who had already been provided by new builds in many other areas.
The process had been slow, but now a path had been laid out: St. Ronan’s College would open its doors on 1st September 2015 under the principalship of Mrs Michele Corkey, whose appointment Mr Adams welcomed.
He said it was now important for all of the community to come together to support the new school and that the College would get off to a strong start and would continue to provide quality education for many generations to come.
Guest Speakers for the evening were Paula Simcoe, past-pupil and a Masters graduate with many years’ experience in Marketing and Pat McGibbon, past-pupil and ex-professional footballer (Manchester United and NI).
He works in physio and coaching and also works with local football clubs in providing help and guidance to teenage boys.