Athenry Vocational School - Séamus Cullinane


School’s Philosophy 
Athenry Vocational School aims to develop in its pupils a wide range of skills, knowledge and understanding within a secure and happy environment that encourages the student to grow in self-confidence and in respect for one another.

Large School - Small Classes
Athenry Vocational School is arguably the largest rural Vocational School in 
Ireland. From an initial enrolment of 64 first year students in 1968 to the present student enrolment of 760 students is by any degree most significant and impressive. This dramatic increase in student numbers is attributable in the main to the reputation the school has as a centre of educational excellence. Innovation and adaptation, fair but firm discipline are all readily recognisable features of the school.
While the school is indeed large by any standards it has always been school policy to keep classes as small as is humanly possible. To this end we have no First Year class in excess of 24 students and we shall continue to strive to maintain this most favourable pupil teacher ratio.

Looking Ahead - B.B.S. Degree Course
It is our wish to go on serving the needs of the people of our area. We intend to proceed by honestly and constructively evaluating our past and present and by being percipient with regard to the future demands and educational needs of the area we serve. To this end we are offering the B.B.S. degree course (Bachelor of Business Studies) in this school as from September 1996. If any individual or group of people would wish a certain programme or course of study be available in the Athenry area, we extend an open invitation, through the Athenry Journal, to contact us and we give our assurance that we will be willing respondents.

Setting the Records
We have the unique and special distinction of winning five All Ireland Hurling Championships in a row. We take particular pride in this magnificent achievement and this is just one facet of sport and leisure activity that is exceptionally well catered or in our school. We, however, wish to publicly acknowledge the immense contribution made by national schools, clubs and individuals in developing the talents and skills of young people.
We just continue with the development of their talents and skills when they enrol with us.

Future Development 
We are in the process of erecting a large Canteen/Multi Purpose hall. This project is parent led and we wish to acknowledge the inestimable contribution of our Parents’ Council and our parents in general. They already have provided us with a playing pitch at a cost of £68,000 and now have funded the Canteen/Multi Purpose hall to the extent of £l00,000. We are blessed in having such an active, positive and constructive Parents’ Council. As we look to the future may that future be as bright as our past is proud.


Séamus Cullinane Principal for the Athenry Journal April 1996


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