18 Jul St Pius X College
St Pius X College History
St Pius X School began, in 1960, with the purchase of six acres of land, at a cost of £5,000, by Canon Mark Quinn, Parish Priest of Magherafelt. The building of the school commenced in 1962 and opened for 300 pupils in September 1964. The Official Opening, by Cardinal Conway, took place in June 1965. Mr Edward Quinn, ably supported by the Vice Principal, Sister Immaculata Quinn, assumed the role of first Principal.
Mr John Murphy succeeded Mr Quinn as Principal in 1967. Much success, academic and otherwise, was achieved under the able leadership of Mr Murphy, who managed the significant growth of the school before taking early retirement in 1979.
Mr Sean O’Kane, who succeeded Mr Murphy, was an innovative leader at a time of immense educational and social change. He actively engaged with a variety of initiatives and programmes culminating in the conferment of the Schools Curriculum Award in 1990.
The present Chairperson, Monsignor Christopher O’Byrne has been closely associated with the College since its inception. Both Monsignor O’Byrne and Mr O’Kane worked tirelessly throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s to ensure that the school remained at the forefront of educational practice. The success enjoyed during this period is testimony to their efforts.
In May 1998 approval was given for a major building and refurbishment programme at an initial costing of £12 million. The project began in March 2000.
Mr O’Kane retired in 1999, handing the leadership over to Mr Frank Devenny. Mr Devenny successfully managed the challenging task of maintaining the College’s high standards of achievement while attending to the day-to-day running of the building programme. In May 2003 the College achieved Laureate Status in the Sharing Excellent Practice in ICT award, and one of the teachers was awarded the BT Teaching Award for the Most Creative Use of ICT.
In September 2005, the first female Principal, Mrs Mary White, was appointed to the College. She retired in August 2012 and was succeeded as Principal by Ms Jacqui Bartley.
The College is fully equipped to meet the demands of the 21st Century but, as in the past, success will continue to be won through the dedication, loyalty and commitment of Principal, staff, governors, pupils and parents, indeed all those associated with the St Pius X College community.