New principal hopes to build on Holy Cross success stor


The new principal of Holy Cross College Claire Bradley. DR66

THE new principal of Holy Cross College has said she hopes to continue the school’s stellar record of achievement and inclusivity. 
With the academic year  at Holy Cross College underway, new head teacher Claire Bradley has been busy getting to grips with overseeing the learning and development of over 1,500 pupils.
Succeeding Maria Doherty, Mrs Bradley will continue a prolific career in Strabane spanning some three decades. 
“I began my teaching career over 30 years ago at the site of Holy Cross College, which was St Colman’s back then,” she said. “It was one of three schools that amalgamated to form Holy Cross College. I taught geography and will continue to do so as principal. 
“I have been vice principal of the junior school since 2009. I know the school environment, parents and pupils very well, and I have been instrumental in setting up the school’s current policies and procedures.
I am a firm believer in equality of access for pupils, and that children shouldn’t be differentiated when in primary school. As principal, I will strive to ensure all children achieve maximum potential, and will ensure varied extracurricular programmes are offered to ensure pupils get a full education.”
During her committed career at Holy Cross, Mrs Bradley named the amalgamation of St Colman’s High School, the Convent Grammar School and Our Lady of Mercy Secondary School in 2004 as being the most arduous. 
“The amalgamation was certainly a challenging time. We were moving between three sites for three years. However, the school evolved substantially and the amalgamation has been undoubtedly a success.
Holy Cross College is now a well-established school in the community with over 1,500 students.  It was a slow process and didn’t happen overnight. The school was built for the community and we are delighted to see them using it.” 
Looking ahead Mrs Bradley says new difficulties are emerging in the lives of young people that schools will have to address. 
“Advancing technology and in particular the increased use of social media is posing a significant challenge for teachers,” she said. “While its benefits cannot be underestimated, it leaves children open to all kinds of abuse. As educators we have to support pupils to ensure social media is used correctly.
“Overall, my career so far has been incredibly rewarding. I wouldn’t put anyone off a career in teaching. The thrill you get when you play a part in a young person’s success is unexplainable.”
 Taking up Mrs Bradley’s previous position as vice principal of the junior school will be Ciaran Johnston. Mr Johnston said “It is a privilege to take up the role as vice principal, and I am looking forward to helping Holy Cross continue on its successful path.” 

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