Transition Year students ( Anna Krupinska, Lidia Cojocaru and Aoife Mohan) at Woodbrook College met with their new Principal, Mr. Henry Hurley to welcome him to the school and local community. As they welcomed him to the school, they discussed his vision for Woodbrook College, not forgetting the challenges he faces as he leads us through the ‘COVID 19’ pandemic.
Welcome to Woodbrook College, Mr. Hurley. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Well, My name is Henry Hurley, I am the new principal of Woodbrook College, Bray. I am from Avoca, Co.Wicklow. I am the father of 6 children and am a proud grandfather to 3 young boys. Before teaching my life was mostly spent in business and playing sports. The three sports I enjoy the most are; gaelic, hurley and rugby.
Why did you decide to become a Principal?
I decided to become a Principal because I felt that I could be a positive influence in students' lives. I am passionate about education and the experience that students' have. I love sport and believe it plays a big part in a schools’ life. I am so happy when students get involved in sports and extracurricular activities and I will attend as many events as I can because I know extracurricular activities are part of the school's culture.
It sounds like you are quite passionate about the job! What kind of changes have you made to Woodbrook College so far?
I have made a few changes to the school such as introducing tutors to every class. The school also now operates on a computer system that allows staff to publish work to students online. We have also decided not to differentiate uniforms, allowing girls and boys to wear trousers and earrings.
Being a new principal throughout this ‘new normal’ must be very difficult. What was your initial reaction when lockdown was first announced?
To make it my priority to give every student as close to the same experience as possible in education and for our staff and student body to do the best they possibly could do.
Explain to us the difficulties being a principal at home during lockdown brought.
It was quite difficult, yes most definitely. I felt disconnected from our physical school . Even though the experience was hard for everyone I must congratulate the students and staff for being so cooperative and hard working.
Are you satisfied with how COVID 19 is being handled in the school?
Yes I am very happy with the efforts of the students and staff, such as making sure to wear a mask and sanitize hands where necessary.
Moving away from the COVID 19 situation and focusing on our great school. Can you tell us what your favourite things about Woodbrook College are?
I love the friendliness and banter and how the students always want to get involved in helping each other. I am very thankful for the teachers and staff in the school as they put so much effort in to what they do.
Do you believe Woodbrook College is cooperating well with the local community?
I think that Woodbrook does a very good job at helping and cooperating in the local community, but there is always room to improve. I believe that the little things make the biggest differences such as recycling and litter picking. Our green community has done an excellent job at thinking of new ideas to help our local area be more environmentally friendly.
I think we are all confident in saying that we have a great Principal at Woodbrook College. We know you have great things in mind for us, can you fill us in on any future plans for Woodbrook College?
Yes, I certainly do have future plans for Woodbrook. I want the students to be proud of attending this school and proud of always trying to be their best selves. We will be looking to grow the school both physically with better facilities and mentally through establishing a more “can do” attitude. Exciting times ahead.