Recently appointed Principal of Crievagh Primary School, Cookstown has spoken of his aspirations for the school and the immense sense of community spirit which surrounds the school.
George Cullen took up the position in December last year and has spoken of the great support that he has received from everyone involved with the school.
Mr Cullen began his teaching career in St John’s Kingsisland where he taught for approximately nine to ten years before moving to St Jarlath’s in Blackwatertown where he worked for 11 years.
During his time in St Jarlath’s, Mr Cullen took up the opportunity to work with both the Southern and Western Board with on STEM projects.
Mr Cullen said: “It really give me a great insight in the education systems within schools and the diversity there was between schools of various sizes. It gave me the experience of working with P1 right up to P7 and it led me to become a little more ambitious and the opportunity came up in September to work with CEA and while I was there I gained a great insight into the complete education system from the delivery in the classroom right through to the assessment of it.”
Speaking about taking up the role in Crievagh, Mr Cullen said: “It was quite different from my other roles as nothing can really prepare you for the role of Principal. all of a sudden you are responsible for anyone and everyone but I have to say from the very first moment I stepped into the school I was blown away by the great spirit of Crievagh.
“The community spirit, the parental involvement, the children are quite unique in that from P1 right up to P7 they all play effortlessly together. There is so much put in to looking after each other and I think it is something that can only really work in a small school setting, I find that what we have here would be envy of many other larger schools. Many will try to replicate and duplicate but never copy and I think it is something that just happens naturally.”
He continued: “The support from the parents has been overwhelming we have had meetings in the past and we have 100 per cent attendance and that is something we don’t take for granted. That is something that is rare and special and unique.
“We recently held a Night at the Races in the Glenavon Hotel and from the small parent base that we have we raised over £4000 so I would have to extend my thanks to the local parents for that. Also the local companies, are also very supportive of the education provision within the area. It is a whole team effort and we are very blessed in that everyone is a team player.”
Looking to the future, Mr Cullen tole the MAIL: “My aspirations for Crievagh is one for continual growth and development. I think Crievagh has a very important role to play in the education provision for the children in the area and I can see that each day more clearly with the support and the aspirations that the children have.
“Whenever you look at a school in my opinion and see pupils coming back that have been past pupils, looking to come back and contribute a little bit more to enrich the whole educational provision, I think that speaks volumes about the school and the community.
“I think Crievagh has a very strong future and I am blessed to be in the position to help shape that future with the help of the parents and staff, I think that will be a reality.”