When Janice Allen officially took up office as Principal of Fivemiletown College on August 31, 2017, she was certainly familiar with her surroundings.

She served just under two years as Acting Principal, and prior to that she was Head of Physical Education, Head of Year 12 and a member of the Senior Leadership Team. 

She studied at the University of Ulster (Jordanstown) where she qualified as a PE teacher in 1997. She spent a year travelling around Australia, and on returning to Northern Ireland, she was asked to do a period of supply teaching in Fivemiletown. She was appointed to a permanent post in 2001 and has been teaching in the College ever since. 

“Fivemiletown College is a wonderful school to work and study in,” feels Janice, who adds: “Having undergone a period of change over recent years, the school continues to go from strength to strength. There is a warm family atmosphere and our pupils follow a varied and fulfilling curriculum. I have complete confidence in the calibre of the team I am leading and in the abilities of all our staff. We have a rich tapestry of students, all with their own unique talents and abilities and a quality team of professional teaching and non-teaching staff who nurture our pupils ensuring they fulfil their true potential.” 

She recorded: “We have just seen the best set of external examination results the school has ever produced. I plan to ensure Fivemiletown College continues to go from strength to strength right across all aspects of school life ensuring we can compete with the best in the country on an academic, sporting, musical and drama front.”

Janice believes: “Education is ever-evolving and it is my passion to ensure our staff and pupils are on the cutting edge of what is happening across the educational spectrum. I recognise that each individual component in Fivemiletown College is a working part of the larger framework of our school and therefore I endeavour to build upon the excellent relations I have with staff, pupils, parents and the wider community. I firmly believe improvement is an ongoing process which is essential to moving our school forward and so I continue to take my role as a visionary very seriously indeed.”

She said: “Being flexible, futuristic, and realistic, I enjoy motivating positive changes to enhance teaching and learning at every level. I value the legacy of Fivemiletown College, its rich history in academia, sport, music and drama.”

Janice mentions their school is also ‘a thriving community facility’ being used extensively after school and at the weekends. She pointed out: “We are in the privileged position of having our own swimming pool which is used by our own pupils during PE time, as well as local primary schools. Mr. Kenny Graham, who has just recently retired, devoted a lifetime to developing these facilities and ensuring their accessibility to all in the local community.” 

She added: “We have exciting proposals and developments in the pipeline and I am delighted to have been part of these discussions which will not only further enhance the experiences of our pupils as they progress through their post primary years with us, but also serve to benefit the entire community.”

She concluded: “We know only too well the challenges that the financial constraints from government are having on our school system here in Northern Ireland and realise no school is exempt from these pressures. 

“However, we in Fivemiletown College continue to strive to embrace the global and technological advances on offer to us and will creatively endeavour to meet whatever challenges arise with gusto and determination to ensure pupils receive the best educational experience possible.” 

Married to Chris Allen (Chris Allen Architects), their two children are Josh, six, and Connie, four.