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Maighréad Ní Chonghaile

Principal

Gaelscoil Éanna

Subject: Irish Medium Education.

Age: 34.

Your place of birth: Belfast.

Where You Live: North Belfast.

First Job: Since leaving school I have always been employed in the Irish Language Sector.

What it taught me: The greatest lesson learned would have to be the importance and relevance of passing on the gift of bi-lingualism.

Family/status: Single.

Best advice anyone ever gave you: No single piece of advice but rather a combination of ongoing support and encouragement from my mum and dad and from friends and colleagues has inspired me along the way on my chosen career path. I currently benefit from the assistance of a very proactive Board of Governors and from the dedication of a hardworking team at Gaelscoil Éanna. Collectively we strive to establish and maintain high standards of educational provision for children whilst at the same time instilling a love and appreciation of the Irish language, Gaelic culture and National games.

Best advice you could give someone thinking of a teaching career: Aspiring teachers should be steadfast in the belief that by virtue of the profession they can make a massive difference to the lives of those young children in their classrooms and to the education sector as a whole. They should be ambitious, passionate and committed to learning and teaching, whilst all the time remaining dedicated to their own continuing professional development. They should encourage children to reach their full potential at every opportunity by providing them with an inviting, positive and safe learning environment. A career in teaching is most rewarding but requires a high level of committment, young pupils only get one chance at education and it is up to us teachers to ensure that they are served well.

 

Maighréad is the Headteacher at Gaelscoil Éanna. She is currently teaching on a part-time basis while simultaneously carrying out leadership and development work in relation to both Gaelscoil and Naiscoil Éanna. Maighréad has co-ordinated and participated in all aspects of the growth and development of Gaelscoil Éanna since taking up post in 2008.

Prior to becoming a teacher she worked as an Irish Language Development Officer for Cumann Cultúrtha Mhic Reachtain where her involvement continues on a voluntary basis, she presently serves as secretary of the management committee. Maighréad has a degree in Irish Language and Literature from University of Ulster Belfast and was recently awarded the Principal’s Qualification for Headship. She actively participates in all projects relating to the current status and future development of Gaelscoil Éanna. She is passionate about a wide spectrum of educational matters and about the promotion of a high standard of Irish Medium Education in particular.

She strives to contribute to the vibrancy of the Irish language speaking community in her own native North Belfast and surrounding areas. Maighréad has one young son of her own, Oisín aged 6 years and is very proud that Oisín takes his place amongst upwards of 100 other pupils currently being schooled at Gaelscoil Éanna, the fastest growing Irish Medium Primary school in the North.