Vice-Principal retires from school where he met his wife

Published: 5 Jul 2012 13:000 comments

A well-known member of the teaching profession in Fermanagh, Glenn McNeill, Vice Principal of Portora Royal School, Enniskillen, retired at the end of the summer term.

Glenn McNeill.

His early retirement comes after 36 years' service at Portora, where he spent his entire teaching career, latterly serving three years as Vice Principal.

Born and brought up in Sion Mills, Glenn boarded at Coleraine Academical Institution, before continuing his studies at Queen's University, Belfast, where he completed a degree in geography. He subsequently spent a year at Stranmillis College, where he did his teacher training.

In 1976, he came to Portora where he was appointed to the position of geography teacher. Mostly teaching geography, he also taught biology, technology and geology at the school.

On joining the staff there, the principal at that time was Mr. Tom Garrett and he also served under Mr. Alan Acheson, Mr. Richard Bennett and the current principal, Mr. Neil Morton.

He coached rugby for many years and he would have taken the school golf team. Teaching for him is what is taught outside the classroom as well, and he referred to the transferable skills attained from extra curricular activities.

It was also at Portora, where Glenn met his wife, the former Eileen Brady, from Enniskillen, who came to teach at Portora in 1978. A daughter of the late Walter Brady, County Engineer for Fermanagh, she was a French and German teacher at the school for almost 30 years and took early retirement several years ago. The couple married in 1979 and went on to have a family of two - Katie and John, who are both in London. Their daughter Katie is married to Philip Adams and they have one child, Alexie - Glenn and Eileen's first grandchild.

Glenn expects he will be travelling to London during his retirement and he will have more time to spend with his granddaughter.

A very keen gardener, his other interests include his motorbike, which he bought three years ago, and plans to put more miles on its clock.

For the retiring Vice Principal, Glenn's career at Portora proved very enjoyable and he pays tribute to the staff, the pupils and parents. "All have been fantastic," commented Glenn, who also acknowledged the principal Neil Morton.

With his career having spanned two generations of pupils - fathers and their sons - Glenn felt it was time to retire. "It was only a matter of time" until someone's grandchild came in, he smiled.

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