Staff and pupils at St Helen’s Primary in Condorrat have been saying goodbye to their headteacher Margaret Friel on her retirement.
Mrs Friel worked in nurseries for 13 years before training to become a teacher after becoming a mum.
She has been at the helm at St Helen’s for seven years and had previously worked in St Leonard’s East Kilbride prior to two other schools in Glasgow.
Last week, a mass concelebrated by Archbishop Tartaglia was chosen as a fitting means to end her period of leadership which officially ends today (Wednesday)
She was praised by the archbishop who said: “Mrs Friel has been a much loved and respected headteacher.
“On behalf of the Catholic church I thank her for her outstanding service to Catholic education over her long career .
“I wish her every happiness and blessing for the future.”
Meanwhile Isabelle Boyd, Assistant Chief Executive with North Lanarkshire Council said: “Mrs Freil has been a hugely popular figure with both pupils and staff at St Helen’s over many years. Margaret has been a fantastic head teacher and is such a lovely person who will be greatly missed by the school community.
“A good head teacher can make such a big difference to pupils and can really help shape their future lives and ambitions. On behalf of the school and the council, I would like to wish Margaret a very long and happy retirement.”
Mrs Friel said: “It has been a privilege to serve the school community. It is without hesitation that I tell everyone that our school is the best.
“The children are the stars of the show. They are a credit to us all. I cannot begin to thank the staff enough. To the parents and carers I wish to express my unequivocal thanks .
“Also the priest and parishioners of Our Lady & St Helen’s who have welcomed me as one of their own.”
Finally Mrs Friel also revealed that her deputy would replace her
“I now know that the school will be in the safe and capable hands of Mrs Kelly.”