Derrylin principal leaves school after 50 years

PAT McTeggart has patrolled the corridors of St Aidan’s High School Derrylin, as man and boy, for almost 50 years, but he’s decided now’s the right time to call it a day on his distinguished career in education.
The Kinawley man’s allegiance with the Derrylin school dates back to 1972 when he began his secondary school education there as a pupil. He’s been an ever-present there since then.
For almost 30 years, Mr McTeggart worked as a teacher at St Aidan’s, before stepping into the role of principal which he’s served for 10 years. It’s been the ‘honour’ of his life, he says.
“It has been a great honour to lead the school in the last 10 years,” Mr McTeggart told the Herald.
“To even teach back in your old alma mater, it’s a great honour and one that I took very seriously when I took on the baton from Martin [McBrien], Val [Cassidy] and our first principal Brian [Gallagher].”
His time as principal hasn’t been straightforward. Back in 2015, the Kinawley man was at the forefront of St Aidan’s High School’s fight to remain open, in the midst of closure threats from the CCMS.
Now attracting pupils from Derrylin, Teemore, Kinawley and Bellanaleck, Mr McTeggart has backed St Aidan’s High School for a successful future.
“I will be a phone call away. The school is in a healthy position, but if there’s ever any threats to the school, I’ll be the first person there, I can tell you that,” said Mr McTeggart.
“Our numbers are excellent as well for the coming year and it all augers well for the future. I wish every success to the next principal, whether it is a he or a she, whoever.
“I’m passing the baton on and hopefully they will keep the school on the upward trajectory,” he added.
During his time as principal, St Aidan’s High School has enjoyed much academic success. In February, the Derrylin school was named the top performing non-selective post-primary school in Fermanagh.
Not only was the school the first in Fermanagh but it ranked fourth overall in the North, in the published exam performance league tables.

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