In my capacity as principal of The Royal Belfast Academical Institution, it is my aspiration for each pupil to achieve his potential and to develop as a whole person intellectually, physically, socially and emotionally.
As a geographer, I value and enjoy rural and urban societies, born into a city, raised in a town, educated in Northern Ireland, USA and England; with life experiences and skills enhanced through travel, youth work, reading, family and friends.
I aim to lead by example, seeking out and embracing new ideas, including introducing RBAI to the Aberdeen Angus Beef competition.
The Aberdeen Angus Beef competition in 2018 enthused and inspired RBAI pupils to get involved, demonstrating the “city” boys had a foot in rural life.
Getting to the semi-final has motivated and challenged us to enter in 2019. The vision of five Aberdeen heifers on the front lawn is a real one.
There is more to RBAI than meets the eye. There is the focus on academic, sport and music, with many boys engaged in more than one activity. These are complemented by wider experiences, which are recognised and applauded including agribusiness and farming.
No more so than Andrew Hamill receiving a commendation at the 2018 Farming Life Awards, which I had the privilege to attend.
The curriculum pathways at RBAI can lead to farming and related sectors. The careers guidance is suited to the individual and prepares all the boys to take their place in the economy and society; rural and urban.
It is my privilege to support the boys and their choices. I look forward to winning those heifers.