BUSHVALLEY Primary School has appointed as new Principal whose roots go deep into the surrounding rural community, actually attending the school herself as a child.
Acting Principal since the beginning of September, Mrs Caroline Irwin was confirmed in the role at the end of October.
“Bushvalley is very close to my heart, it's a school I'm very passionate about,” she told The Chronicle.
This isn't surprising given that Caroline went to the school herself, well sort of - she went to Ballycregagh School, which was amalgamated with Stranocum PS shortly after she left to become Bushvalley PS.
Prior to becoming Principal, Caroline has been teacher at Bushvalley for 14 years.
In fact it was her first position after training, spending 11years in P2, and P5/P6 for the last three.
Asked what she would bring to the role, Caroline said: “I would like to maintain the high quality teaching and learning and give effective leadership to the school, going forward.”
“Working with the children is the reason we do the job, to give them the best quality teaching we can provide!”
Caroline was perfectly placed to take on the top role as she has taken the lead in developing a number of important and successful initiatives in the school in recent years.
“I sent up the school council in 2012, it's very important that the children get a voice about what happens in the school, telling us what they would like to see, it shouldn't just be about staff,” she said.
She also developed Anti-Bullying Ambassador initiative and the Digital Leader initiative.
“Children need to be educated about what is acceptable and what is unacceptable,” she said.
"Bushvalley is a rural school with the main catchment areas being Stranocum and Mosside. With 157 pupils it's big for a rural school with only doubling up in P5/P6 and P6/P7.
“We are lucky in the wide range of facilities we can offer."
And you can see these facilities for yourself on Wednesday December 4 when Bushvalley are holding their Open Evening.
Caroline, who is married to farmer David and lives outside Dervock, continued: “I grew up in the community, have my roots in the community and the community is a big part of life for me.”
Caroline has two children, one is already a P2 pupil at the school and the other will be a P1 pupil starting next year.
Caroline's hobbies are running and going to the gym and she has completed marathons and half marathons.
“You might see me running the roads at crazy times in the morning,” she concluded.