BY Ryan McDougall | February 28 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

5 clare and family

Papal medal for Dundee teacher after 39 years in Catholic schools

A retired deputy headteacher has been presented with a benemerenti medal for her many years of service to Dundee’s Catholic young people.

Mrs Clare McCready, 59, taught for an incredible 38 years in Catholic schools, retiring as deputy head of St Paul’s Academy in Dundee in June 2019.

She received her papal award on Wednesday February 19 honouring her contribution to Catholic education in Scotland.


Joined by former colleagues, pupils and parents in the school hall at St Paul’s Academy, she was presented with the award by Bishop Stephen Robson of Dunkeld.

Mrs McCready, who started her teaching career aged 20, said the benemerenti was kept a secret for months.

“I had no idea about it,” she said. “They had been planning it since June when I retired and I didn’t know anything about it until I was phoned about it a couple of weeks ago. It was a complete shock and I was very humbled and amazed.”

Youth work

Mrs McCready enjoyed her career as a Catholic school teacher, and says her favourite thing about it was working with the young people.

She said: “I think it was the joy they brought to your day that I liked.

“Seeing them develop into generous, talented, kind young men and women as they grew up and went through school was amazing.”

Mrs McCready is now enjoying her retirement with her family and friends. After the benemerenti presentation, St Paul’s school chaplain Mgr Ken McCaffrey paid tribute to Mrs McCready as ‘an outstanding and excellent witness to her Faith in four Catholic schools.’

Prominent role

She began her career at Our Lady’s High School in Motherwell before moving on to Lawside Academy, St Saviour’s High School, both in Dundee, and latterly St Paul’s where she served as the depute head.

Praising her achievements, Mgr McCaffrey added: “Clare has taught Religious Education to all age groups in St Paul’s, instilling the Gospel values while encouraging active participation in the Catholic life of the school and the diocese.

“She has been responsible for curricular developments and ensuring quality learning and teaching in the RE department. She played a prominent part in introducing, supporting and verifying the Caritas Awards, encouraging senior pupils to reflect on their Faith journey.

“Throughout her teaching career Clare was a role model for pupils and staff and clearly had Christ at the centre of everything she did for our young people and their families. She is most worthy of this award.”

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