MEET the new principal of Ballyhackett Primary School in Castlerock.
Antoin Moran took up the post after former Principal Rita Mellon retired just before Christmas.
And at just 32, Mr Moran is one of the Board’s youngest principals.
The keen sportsman has settled well into life at Ballyhackett, a big difference from his last school, Holy Family in Magherafelt which boasted over 500 pupils.
“Everyone has made me feel very welcome here - staff, pupils and parents,” said the Maghera man.
“Rita [Mellon] was a great help to me.
“She came in and talked me through the finer points of things, and that really made the transition very smooth.
“She will be a tough act to follow and I wish her well in her retirement.”
With ten years teaching experience, Mr Moran is looking forward to continuing Mrs Mellon’s good work at the school.
“I want to build on the existing good links we have developed with our partner school – Castleroe PS.
“The relationship was originally developed through the PIEE project and we have been collaborating together ever since on areas of mutual benefit.”
Commenting on the links with the community at Ballyhackett, Mr Moran added: “We have a thriving PFTA who provide a range of fundraising and social events to support the ongoing work in the school.
“The links between the school and its community are very strong in Ballyhackett.
“We have many volunteers who give of their time to nurture and help the children to achieve.
“The school really is seen as the hub of the community, and that is something I want to keep.”
Speaking about the unique features of the school, on the outskirts of Castlerock, Mr Moran added: “The class sizes are much smaller that what I am used to, but it is more personal and teaching can be tailored for each child’s learning.
“At Ballyhackett the older pupils are encouraged to take on responsibilities and roles within the school, I think that is great for self development.”