Mrs Michelle Ramsay is the first woman at the helm of the Model Primary School in Derry in more than 150 years. 

Mrs Ramsey

After 30 years in the teaching profession, Donegal woman Michelle Ramsay has taken on the role of Principal of the integrated Model PS.

In the historic move, Mrs Ramsay replaces former principal Paul Sheridan, who she worked with for 10 years as VP. She taught at the school for 25 years previously, following five years at Carndonagh’s Donagh NS and some time teaching in London.

Mrs Ramsay said she is looking forward to celebrating the cultural diversity of the school and taking a holistic approach to children’s education.

“We welcome children from all faiths, backgrounds, traditions and cultures and inclusivity is at the heart of all that we do. I truly believe integration and mutual respect for each other’s differences is of paramount importance and is the way forward for our young people,” she said.

Mrs Ramsey

Speaking to BBC Radio Foyle, Mrs Ramsey said her strong work ethic comes from her childhood on the Patterson family farm outside Lifford.

“I think that’s why I ended up where I am today because I’m not scared of hard work,” she said.

Mrs Ramsay qualified from the Church of Ireland College of Education in Dublin 30 years ago, and now takes a modern approach to school communications. She regularly employs social media as a tool to connect parents with the school goings-on, saying these daily updates are a key part of the Model’s marketing plan:

“I think it’s important that the school is marketed to retain the high profile that the Model has in the local community. We use Facebook to our advantage. We have daily posts and parents are meeting me and are delighted because they can see their children every day with little posts.”

Her commitment to education and creating a warm, welcoming school environment at the Model stems from her passion for children. On her career, she said: “I absolutely love it. It’s about the love of children at the end of the day, wanting the best for the children, being passionate about them and enjoying it.”