Jos Furlong retires from CBS and Vicky is new principal
The first female principal of the CBS primary school in Wexford will take up duty on August 31 as Jos Furlong prepares to retire after clocking up 40 years service including almost 20 years as principal.
Vicky Barron (née Clancy) who has been principal teacher at the St. Iberius national school in Wexford for the past five years, has been appointed principal to succeed the popular Mr Furlong, who is hanging up his chalk and duster with plans to travel and enjoy more of life outside the classroom.
A former pupil of the primary school in which he worked, Wexford town native Mr Furlong joined the teaching staff of the school in 1978 after graduating from St. Patrick's training college in Dublin and he taught various classes over the following two decades before being appointed principal in 1999.
During his time at the helm, he presided over the introduction of co-educational enrolments, welcoming the arrival of girls to the CBS, and more recently the start of a major extension and refurbishment contract which is due to be completed in time for the school's re-opening in September.
It wasn't all about books and learning and under his reign, the annual Halloween fancy dress fun run became one of the highlights of the year, with the principal himself enthusiastically entering into the spirit of the event by turning up in elaborate outfits to amuse the pupils, including arriving into the school one year as a mounted garda on a stuffed horse.
Ms Barron, also a native of Wexford town, is a sister of the actress and singer Sharon Clancy and a member of a well-known musical family.
As well as being a primary school teacher with a HDip in Primary Education from Hibernia College, she has a master's degree in management in education from Waterford Institute of Technology as well as a BA in music editing and performance from WIT.
A former member of the HFC Band, which nurtered her love of music, she is a professional clarinet and saxophone player, an orchestral conductor and music teacher who has performed in and directed shows all over the south-east.
She has won numerous awards for her compositions and productions and has been involved as musical director with Wexford Pantomime Society for many years and the Caroreigh Folk Group.
She qualified as a primary school teacher in 2007 and worked for six years in Adamstown national school, where she directed the school choir and initiated the school band before becoming teaching principal in St. Iberius.
As Jos Furlong bows out after 40 years working in the school where he began his education, he said it was 'a privilege to serve as principal of the school I attended as a boy and to share a journey with hundreds of families during my time there'.
'Life is becoming more difficult for people and school is a great place which does its best to help the young people in its care and their parents', he said.
'It has been a great experience to work in the CBS primary school for so long. I went there as a boy and I could never have dreamed that I would one day be given the opportunity to become principal', he said.
The outgoing principal and music fan is planning to attend a U2 gig in Berlin on the day he officially retires. To mark his departure, he was treated to a farewell concert by the CBS pupils and of course, it included quite a few comedy sketches about him. 'I took it very well', he said with a grin
Board of management chairperson, Fr. Aodhan Marken celebrated a special Mass in Bride Street Church and a retirement dinner was also held, with Mr. Furlong as the guest of honour.