Christmas is almost upon us once again and I would like to extend heartfelt gratitude to the staff and students across our Schools, Colleges and Centres throughout the county who have contributed so much to the wonderful work of Donegal ETB during 2019.
2019 has been a busy and successful year full of exciting changes. I acknowledge the many achievements at every level of our service. I would like to acknowledge the commitment and dedication of our staff members, led by our managers, in continuing to enhance the quality of Teaching and Learning in our service which is the primary business of Donegal ETB. Our three pillars are led by our Directors; Cróna Gallagher (Further Education and Training (FET)), Jim McGlynn (Organisation Support and Development (OSD)) and Dr Martin Gormley (Schools) who do an outstanding job leading staff within their areas. Of course, our support staff are a vital part of the success of our Education and Training Board without whom we could not offer the range of services that we do.
Our new Board was formed this year and will continue in office until 2024. We wish our new Chairperson, Geoffrey Browne, the members, committee members and all members of our new Boards of Management the very best for the term ahead.
We have had so many wonderful high points during 2019 and I wanted to take the time to reflect on some of them. Who can forget the extraordinarily uplifting One Voice Choir performance in March at An Grianán Theatre? Events like this showcase just exactly what Donegal ETB is all about.
It is so important to acknowledge the fantastic work being undertaken in our schools and centres and the Annual Awards Day does just that. It shows the very many extra miles that our staff go to make sure all our students get the most rounded experience possible.
Our new website was launched during the summer. This was another big project and my thanks to all involved. It is so important for Donegal ETB to have a top quality central location to promote our service and we look forward to many more positive stories appearing on our website and on our social media channels in the future.
As the largest provider of FET in County Donegal, we made a decision to move our annual FET Fair to November this year and what a success that was! I feel that we are succeeding so well in promoting FET options not only within the community generally but within the school leaver cohort.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge the very many building projects that are ongoing throughout the county, within our schools and FET services. It is vital that our students and staff have pleasant surroundings within which to work and we will continue to work towards providing the very best facilities that we can for the people of Donegal.
Donegal ETB is very pleased that the Minister for Education and Skills hails from the county and we appreciate the many visits he has made to our schools and centres since taking office.
To you, our ETB Community, I hope that 2019 has been a good year for you and that Donegal ETB has served your community well. We look forward to working with you again throughout the county in 2020.
We look forward to the New Year bringing with it new initiatives and new challenges and we wish everyone well with their endeavours for the year ahead.
We also, at this time, pause to remember those who are no longer with us and extend our sincere sympathy to all who have sadly been bereaved during 2019.
I wish you all, your families and your communities, a peaceful and safe break over Christmas and I look forward to 2020 and the continuation of our work on behalf of the people of Co Donegal.
Guím daoibhse agus do bhur dteaghlach Síocháin, Sláinte agus Sonas ag an am seo bliana agus sa bhliain úr.