Hazelwood Integrated College bids a fond farewell to Mrs Kathleen O’Hare after six years of her leading the college in its growth in strength and numbers. Prior to taking up the post in 2012 at Hazelwood Integrated College, Mrs O’Hare was Principal of St Cecilia’s College. She has been a Head Teacher for 16 years and has been in the teaching profession for 35 years. During this time she has always maintained a deep interest and passion for the all-inclusive education of young people in Northern Ireland.
Commenting on her farewell, Mrs O’Hare said, “I have mixed feelings, as whilst I strongly believe every leader should leave when their goals are achieved, I will be sad to leave our lovely students. The children of North Belfast are forthright and genuine young people who display a real warmth and welcome to staff and visitors alike. They have a great pride in their community and I will miss being greeted by the older students with a cheerful greeting of “Right, Miss” in the mornings as well as the genuine concern that the staff and the Board of Governors have for the academic pastoral and academic progress of our pupils.”
During Mrs O’Hare’s leadership time as Principal, Hazelwood Integrated College has witnessed a rise in academic achievement to becoming a top non-selective school in Northern Ireland at both GCSE and A Level. It is now placed by all of our Year 8 pupils and parents as their number 1 choice for schooling as it offers wide curriculum success in an integrated setting. Mrs O’Hare, as a former Head of Careers, has maintained her keen interest in promoting careers education. The unique opportunities she has spearheaded have ranged from ‘Hazelwood Goes to Work’ , where all students have visited a workplace for a day, to the recent introduction of an Internship Programme into Sixth Form in conjunction with Deloitte.
The growth of pupil numbers at Hazelwood to over 1000 has necessitated the securing of a new building programme for practical rooms this year but as the college continue to grow, then it will need further expansion of its physical resources.
Hazelwood is held in high esteem in North Belfast by our parents, community, businesses and politicians.The college also has a vibrant Parent Teacher Association and this provides great boost for the college both in communication as well as driving up standards.
Although Mrs O’Hare will be saying farewell to her role as Principal, she will continue her role on the Governing Body of Belfast Metropolitan College and the Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA). Mrs O’Hare has also been invited by the British Council to speak internationally about school improvement.
In September 2018, Hazelwood Integrated College will commence a new chapter as they will welcome their 5th Principal, Ms Maire Thompson.
Mrs O’Hare leaves Hazelwood Integrated College with the following message:
‘A college like Hazelwood has many leaders in our student body as well as staff, parents and governors. I wish Ms Thompson, along with the Senior Leadership Team, staff and the Board of Governors, well in the continued success of the college for the benefit of our students. Facta Non Verba.’