NEW Kilbride Central Primary School Principal, Christopher Currie, is hoping to shine a light on the rural school.
Christopher - at the age of 31 - is thought to be one of the youngest school Principals in the area and he said he is relishing the challenge of his new role.
The Bangor man, who now lives in Ballyclare, joins the Newtownabbey school from Loanends Primary where he was P7 teacher.
Christopher said: “I am really looking forward to stepping up to the challenge of being Principal. It is very exciting and a brand new chapter in my career and I can’t wait until the school year starts.
“Having been at Loanends and organising the local schools’ football league I know the area well and the school, so it is not entirely new to me.
“Kilbride is similar in size to Loanends. There are 126 pupils registered and our capacity is 135, so there is not much room for growth in terms of numbers, but there is plenty of potential elsewhere.”
Christopher said he was very impressed with the rural setting of the school.
“It’s in a great location” he said.
“It has very beautiful buildings and grounds and is right at the heart of the community - which really attracted me to the school.
“It has a great appearance and creates a fantastic first impression for any visitors. Parents and children are, rightly so, very proud of the school.Of course the school has needs like every other, but there has been a strong platform built here and I will be looking to capitalise on all the fantastic work that has gone on before.”
Christopher succeeds Gail Ferguson as Principal at the school, a factor which he says, presents a big challenge.
“Gail was fantastic for the school, she helped grow the school to what it is today,” he said.
“She was not afraid to get her hands dirty. She was a big part of the community and still is. She put the school at the heart of the community and was totally dedicated to the pupils, parents and staff. The success of the school is a big credit to her and those are big shoes to fill, but I am looking forward to it.
“I want to build on Gail’s work by putting new energy and life into the school.
“It may be a small school, but that doesn’t mean it can’t have a big ambition in the classroom and on the sports field.”
Christopher, whose mother was a teacher, will still be in front of the blackboard in his role at the school.
“It was always part of life growing up and was the discussion around the dinner table - so it was easy to make the progression into teaching for me,” said Christopher.
“Teaching, in my opinion, is about bringing the best out in the kids. It should be energetic and fun - most of the time - to help sustain a child’s attention and importantly, fulfil their potential.
“School should not be a scary place for the children and they should not dread it every morning, instead it should be somewhere they enjoy going to.
“And as Principal, I hope that I can pull everyone along with me rather than push them.”