BY Ryan McDougall | October 11 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

jpii retiral

Retiring headteacher had positive impact on ‘thousands of children’

A newly retired headteacher received messages of support from his colleagues as he spoke of the many happy memories of serving the community.

Jim McShane, headteacher of John Paul II Primary School in Castlemilk, stepped down on Friday October 11.

Mr McShane has been headteacher of the school for 12 years, having previously served as headteacher at St Margaret Mary’s Primary, which amalgamated with St Dominic’s and St Martin’s primaries in 2007 to form John Paul II.

Mr McShane said he was excited for his retirement.

“I’ve got eight children and 18 grandchildren to keep me busy, and I’m going to attempt to hit a golf ball if I can,” he joked.


Fruitful career

Mr McShane’s teaching career began in 1977, and since then he has taught continuously apart from a five-year break in which he worked with a chemical company. Ultimately, he went back to his vocation in Catholic teaching, a career he has thoroughly enjoyed.

He said: “I’ve absolutely loved it. I’ve seen big changes over the last 20 years and all the opportunities kids are getting nowadays, such as the use of technology and more importantly, more outdoor education.

“One of the best things that happened was coming from the old school building and into the new one in 2007, where we incorporated a new digital strategy.

“Another big thing we’ve done is introduce international education. Over the last three years we’ve been able send out P7s to go abroad to learn.”


Staff support

Mr McShane thanked his colleagues for making his time as headteacher of John Paul II memorable.

“The staff have been totally supportive,” he said. “I’ve always been very fortunate to have them.”

The school has not yet announced its new headteacher.

Depute head Damian Nicholas has worked with Mr McShane since 2002 when he started his own career as a probationer.


Positive influence

He spoke of the ‘huge impact’ Mr McShane has had on the school over the years.

He said: “Having worked with Jim for such a long time it’s fair to say that I know him pretty well—I’ve even started to use some of his more familiar phrases in my daily life!

“He has been a massive influence on my own professional career in the way that he has guided and mentored my progress from class teacher to principal teacher and now as depute head of the school.”

He added: “As headteacher of this school Jim has had a huge impact on the lives of thousands of children from Casltemilk.

“In the time I have known Jim, he has always sought to provide opportunities for children that they wouldn’t ordinarily receive.”

Wishing his friend and mentor the best in retirement, Mr Nicholas added that it was an ‘absolute privilege’ to work with Mr McShane.



Claire Gildea, principal teacher, has stated it has been a ‘pleasure’ to have worked with Mr McShane.

She said: “He is an enthusiastic and dedicated headteacher, with a great sense of humour.

“I am sure I speak on behalf of all the staff and children when I say we will all miss him so much.”

She added: “We wish him a long and very happy and healthy retirement which is thoroughly deserved.”

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