End of year message from Donegal ETB Chief Executive

Image of Chief Executive Anne McHugh

As we come to the end of the 2019-2020 academic year for our schools and centres, I would like to publicly acknowledge our amazing staff who have risen to the deeply difficult challenge that has confronted us.  Quite literally, overnight, staff have had to continue their work against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.  And continue they did!  They continued teaching, assessing, advising, supporting, delivering food, assisting in their communities and most of all, caring.  Our staff care deeply about their students and this was evident in the way they went far above and beyond the call of duty to make sure students were continuing with their learning under these most unusual circumstances.

We have had to forego so many of the traditional end of year ceremonies this year but schools and centres have been innovative and creative in managing to provide online events to  mirror as closely as possible what would have been celebratory evenings in school gyms all over the county.  The graduating class of 2020 certainly is a pioneering group in so many ways.

The exam month of June has been altered beyond recognition this year and a Calculated Grades Model has been developed for our Leaving Certificate students.  I would like to take this opportunity to offer my very best wishes to the Leaving Cert class of 2020 as they embark on the next stage of their lives.  My best wishes also to our Further Education and Training students as many of them will be finishing their courses at this time also.

I must mention the parents, guardians and families of all our students who have provided constant support while everyone has been at home over the past number of months.  It has not been easy but you have played a vital role during this time by providing that much needed support to the students when they were unable to come into our schools and centres.

The months ahead are uncertain and many families have suffered during this emergency but the summer stretches out before us and hopefully some pleasant weather will help us to get through the reopening of our country.  Please enjoy the holiday period and continue to follow the advice of our public health service and hold firm.

We look forward to welcoming our students back to education and training in the Autumn: it may be different but Donegal ETB will continue to strive to provide the highest standards of teaching and learning possible, no matter where our students are located. We’re in this together.

Anne McHugh, Chief Executive, Donegal ETB.