“An era ended and a new one began at Naas CBS secondary school last week when the last Christian Brother principal handed over to its first lay principal,” began an article in the Leinster Leader on June
4 1992. “But if pupils thank that the change from religious to lay leadership will bring with it any softening of standards, they are in for a shock.
“There will be no Doc Martins in the school next year,” joked incoming principal Noel Merrick as he addressed the parents and staff gathered for the annual end of year function organized by the Parents Council.
“Mr. Merrick told the gathering that he would reinforce the values of tradition, excellence and service to the community of Naas and its hinterland, which had been hallmarks of the school under Christian Brothers’ leadership.
“Earlier, Br. Wright, outgoing principal, said that the changeover to a lay principal and also the reorganization of the school’s management under a newly appointed Board of Management was a reflection of the increasing importance of participation by lay people in education.
He said that, contrary to the assumptions made by some, these changes had nothing to do with the fall off in vocations but had everything to do with involving groups such as parents and staff who were part of the school community.
“These are not retrograde steps. They are moves made because lay people have a right to be involved. If we had 200 extra brothers in the morning we would still be setting up Boards of Management.”
“Earlier, the depth of parental involvement in the school was symbolized when parents presented a cheque to Br. Wright to purchase computer equipment.
“Parents Council chairperson Anne O’Byrne thanked the parents who had raised funds and met to help with organizational matters during the year.
“The tradition of excellence mentioned by incoming principal Noel Merrick was epitomized by last year’s Leaving Cert. student, John O’Brien, from Mullacash, who was presented with a gold watch by the Principal and staff in recognition of his winning a prestigious 1916 scholarship from the Dept. of Education based on his Leaving Certificate last year. John, son of Kathleen and Shay O’Brien, scored 6 A’s and 2 B’s on his Leaving Certificate. He is now studying for a Maths degree at Trinity College.”
From the Leinster Leader archives, June 4th, 1992