THE newly-appointed principal of St. Michael’s College in Enniskillen has said he is committed to “cooperating and collaborating” with the other schools in the town to meet the challenges facing the post-primary sector in Fermanagh in the years ahead.

Mark Henry, who will formally take up his new post at the start of September, said he was delighted that the Governors had placed their faith in him to lead St. Michael’s forward.

He said: “I feel really privileged and extremely proud to have been appointed principal of such a prestigious school and am really looking forward to working with the Governors, staff and parents to ensure that our students are given the very best opportunities to enable them to realise their full potential.”

Originally from the village of Clady, just outside Maghera in county Derry, Mr Henry has been teaching at St. Michael’s for over 20 years and took on the role of acting principal in March 2015.

Now an adopted Fermanagh man living in Enniskillen, the 44-year-old is married to Siobhan, who is a teacher in Mount Lourdes, and the couple has three children, Harry (11), Niamh (10) and eight-year-old Conor.

The new principal said he welcomed the communication received from the Trustees at the end of June, which had acknowledged the concerns expressed during the consultation process about the proposal for Catholic post-primary education in Enniskillen.

He said: “I am committed to co-operating and collaborating with the other schools in Enniskillen in a spirit of mutual support, in order to meet the collective challenges faced in considering the needs of all of our young people in a cohesive and coherent way.”

Mr Henry is also well-known for having a keen interest in all sport, particularly Gaelic football.

He has coached various teams in St. Michael’s during the last 20 years, leading the school to success in the D’Alton Cup for the first time in their history in 2003 and to Rannafast Cup success in 2006.

He said he took “great pride” in being afforded the opportunity to manage both the Fermanagh Minor and under-21 teams and he had also really enjoyed managing Lisnaskea Emmetts and Ederney St. Joseph’s in recent years.

“It gives me great pleasure to watch players I have coached at schools level go on and play for their county,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Henry, along with Peter McGinnity, also coached the school’s Corn na Nog team which current Northern Ireland goalkeeper Michael McGovern captained to victory in 1999.

“Everyone at St. Michael’s was so proud of Michael as we watched him perform heroics at Euro 2016. We all wish him every success with his new club Norwich City,” he added.

A past pupil of St. Patrick’s College in Maghera, Mr Henry studied Economics and completed his PGCE at Queen’s University, Belfast.

He was appointed to the post of teacher of Economics and Business Studies in St. Michael’s in September 1995.

The father of three was subsequently appointed head of the Business Studies Department in 2004, senior teacher with responsibility for Key Stage 4 in 2005 and then vice-principal in 2007.