Strabane teacher set to retire after 43 years


A STRABANE teacher who is set to retire after over four decades in education says she has nothing but good memories from her time in the classroom. 

Nuala Kerr, the vice principal of St Catherine’s PS in Strabane, will hang up her teaching hat next month.

When she says her  final farewell to her pupils Mrs Kerr will  have completed a total of 43 years in the education sector. 

Speaking to the Strabane Chronicle this week, Mrs Kerr reflected on what she feels is a highly challenging but extremely rewarding profession. 

“Teaching isn’t just a job, it is a vocation,” she said. “The fact that my career spans 43 years is proof in itself that while being a teacher may present its own challenges, it is also the most rewarding and enjoyable job.”

Nuala began her teaching career in 1974 teaching speech and drama at Loreto Grammar School in Omagh. She has since worked in a number of  schools across the North West including as St Anne’s PS in Derry, St Mary’s Boys School on the Melmount Road, the Convent Primary School and St Anne’s Primary School in Strabane before finishing off as vice principal of St Catherine’s.

“Arguably my proudest moment is being involved in the successful amalgamation of Barrack Street Boys and St Anne’s to form St Catherine’s PS,” she explained. “The benefit of the merger was clear for students, and I am extremely proud to have helped the process be as seamless and as beneficial to students and staff as possible.

“All in all, I have too many positive memories to name. Teaching is a job like no other.”

Despite the challenges facing teachers and schools in recent times, Mrs Kerr feels anyone thinking of teaching shouldn’t be discouraged from the career path.

“Teaching is getting bad press these days in terms of budget constraints, the effects a lack of government is having on schools and increasing class numbers,” she said. “However, I feel anyone interested in becoming a teacher shouldn’t be discouraged.  It is a fantastic career. It is constantly evolving. We, as teachers, are always learning, always looking out for ways to improve the ‘school experience’ for every child who comes through our doors. It has been my privilege to assist in the development of countless pupils, to watch them flourish, to see them succeed. I have nothing but good memories when it comes to my career.”

But what is next for the soon to be former vice principal? 

“I have never had a situation when I haven’t been at work, so retirement will be interesting. I plan to do some travelling and take things as they come.” 


The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 15 Main Street, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, BT82 8AS