BY Ryan McDougall | August 19 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

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New headteachers put Faith first as autumn term begins

Two of Scotland’s newest Catholic headteachers have paid tribute to their predecessors and highlighted the role Faith will play in guiding their new schools.

Mark Donnelly, pictured, takes up the role of headteacher at Fernhill School in Rutherglen and Marie Tierney is to take the reins of Christ the King Primary School, Holytown, in Motherwell Diocese.

Both teachers have praised the headteachers who came before them, citing them as ‘inspirational.’



Referring to Christ the King’s former headteacher, Patricia McBride, Ms Tierney said: “I feel privileged to have been appointed headteacher of the school. I really look up to Mrs McBride and the community she’s set up.

“She’s an absolute ­inspiration to me and has wholeheartedly supported me in this transition. She completely lives and breathes the school.”

Ms Tierney added: “The school is well known for its commitment to the Catholic Faith. It’s a really Faith-fuelled community, and I hope to make sure that Faith journey continues and ensure that children are educated in a way that Christ wants, that the children here know that they’re nurtured and loved.”


Future plans

Mrs McBride, now retired and currently enjoying a trip to Rome, said she had ‘mixed emotions’ about leaving the school at which she had taught for 15 years.

“I was there all those years so I feel very much a part of the school and the community. I’m fine about retiring because my parents are older and I’ll have more time to spend with them, but I have really mixed feelings about having taught there for so long and now to be leaving.

“It was a fabulous 15 years, I’ve had great support from both the parish priests who had been there in my time.”

Offering guidance to Mrs Tierney, she added: “The advice I’d give to anybody is to become familiar with the children, their families and the staff, because those are the things that make your job better and they’ll help you to serve the community in the best way you can.”



Mr Donnelly of Fernhill also complimented his predecessor in the role, Dr Laura Murphy.

“I think it’s really important to pay tribute to Dr Murphy, the previous head, as she brought the school through a really difficult period of change and left a tight ship for me,” he said.

“I think I have big shoes to fill. As each new person comes in with new ideas and a vision, I think it’s important not to get rid of what came before but to build on it, and that’s my plan.

“Laura left the school in a stable position, and equally I have come with my own vision and leadership which I hope people will get on board with.

“I practise what I preach and practise my Faith, which is hopefully never far from what I do.”

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