Parkhall remembers the Parkhall goes back to the 2000s

THIS year marks the 50th birthday of Antrim’s longest standing post-primary school and Parkhall Integrated College have been holding a series of celebratory events to mark the momentous milesone.

They have also been chronicling the school’s long and distinguished history - and this fourth part of the Parkhall story takes us to the 2000s.

Most will remember the stewardship of Roy Dickson which continued right up until his very richly deserved retirement in 2006 after a full 22 years as principal – the longest serving head in the North-Eastern board.

This decade also saw quite a period of change in the role of head with Mr Dickson’s successor being Tom Skelton who stayed in post for only one year, before moving on to become principal of his home-town Dalriada School.

Mr Skelton was succeeded by the long-standing Mrs Mavis Knox who dutifully stepped up to hold the reins for one year before her own well earned retirement in 2008.

This led to the appointment of George Beattie who remains in post until the present day.

There were many aspects of school life which are remembered fondly during the 2000s era.

The school were awarded another School Curriculum Award, which was presented to Mr Dickson and Mrs Knox and selected pupils in London in the Millennium year.

Another highlight of the decade must include yet another school production. How many can recall the Millennium Dome performance of ‘Our Town’ with Mrs Davidson-Brown?

Other novel events of the time include the launch of the Green Programme Environmental Awareness Scheme. Many may assume that this has been a recent initiative – but Parkhall were introducing this to their pupils back in the year 2000! how ahead of the curve were they?

This decade also saw a huge plethora of school trips and educational visits.

Mr Haugh, Mr J Martin and Miss Greenfield took a party off to London in 2001; while Miss Richardson led a visit to County Louth with the Key Programme.

The Home Economics Department took a group of pupils on a cross-community visit to Disneyland Paris in conjunction with pupils from the then St. Olcan’s in Randalstown.

In 2003 Mrs Sufferin led a school tour of to Paris and Switzerland - travelling all the way on the bus!

Mr Martin began leading his football tours to England, with the initial one going off to watch Everton v Blackburn Rovers. These were to continue and expand as the years went on and again continue to this day.

The girls were off in 2008 on a hockey tour of Holland with Mrs White and Miss Huey, followed by a visit to the Vatican City of Rome in 2009.

This decade also saw the ski trips being re-established through the leadership of Mr Harbinson, the highlight of which was their 2007 and 2009 visits to New Hampshire in the USA.

What a time the kids of that decade must have had! Were you one of them? Or perhaps one of the parents who had to pay for them?

A quick mention of other things that may jog memories must include the introduction of the schools formals that were held in the Hilton Hotel, later to move to the Comfort Hotel.

The European Day of Languages began back in 03, plus there was the continued success of the PTA events, the visit of the Royal Navy Lynx Helicopter landing in the centre of the cricket pitch followed by a careers talk with the year 10 pupils in 07.

What about ‘Burma Comes to Parkhall RE Department’ in 2009 along with the ‘Parkhall’s Got Talent’ show in the same year?

The many cricket teams that Mr Martin developed in the school beginning in this decade too with the introduction to early morning cricket in the school gym from 8am with cricket balls flying everywhere!

Were you one of the boys that couldn’t get into school on-time but could for those 8am cricket sessions?

This decade also gave rise to many competition successes on the sports field with the boys reaching the IFA Senior Cup final in 2000 and the girls’ hockey team going to the Youth Games in 01 and the montage of future sports stars pictured together back in 2007.

Away from sport, the Young Enterprise winners gained the title of North East Company of the Year with ‘Klassy Krafts’ in 2007. Two-years later celebrity chef Jamie Olivier presented the school’s team of chefs with the winner’s accolade for N.I. and overall UK runners up with a very proud Miss Riley in attendance.

The Art Department also gained recognition for their excellent photography in the 2008 winning entry into the Antrim Borough Council Road Safety competition.

How many of the readers can remember taking part in these successes and recall the contribution they and their friends of yesteryear made to those achievements?

The first Head Girl in the 2000s era was a young lady called Karen Jackson and she was very ably assisted by Head Boy Lee Buchanan. 

Every former student will have their own memories, but how many of these names ring a bell? What about Mrs Gleghorne, Miss Gaston, Mr McClintock, Mr Beckett, Ms Finlay and Mrs Burns to name but a few.

Parkhall pupils have a long tradition of generosity and during this decade did some excellent fundraising work for local and national charities.

There are a lot more photos to delve through at your leisure on the school’s website.

Next up in the coming weeks is a look back to the 2010s...THIS year marks the 50th THIS year marks the 50th birthday of Antrim’s longest standing post-primary school and Parkhall Integrated College have been holding a series of celebratory events to mark the momentous milestone.

They have also been chronicling the school’s long and distinguished history - and this fourth part of the Parkhall story takes us to the 2000s.

Most will remember the stewardship of Roy Dickson which continued right up until his very richly deserved retirement in 2006 after a full 22 years as principal – the longest serving head in the North-Eastern Board.

This decade also saw quite a period of change in the role of head with Mr Dickson’s successor being Tom Skelton who stayed in post for only one year, before moving on to become principal of his home-town Dalriada School.

Mr Skelton was succeeded by the long-standing Mrs Mavis Knox who dutifully stepped up to hold the reins for one year before her own well earned retirement in 2008.

This led to the appointment of George Beattie who remains in post until the present day.

There were many aspects of school life which are remembered fondly during the 2000s era.

The school were awarded another School Curriculum Award, which was presented to Mr Dickson and Mrs Knox and selected pupils in London in the Millennium year.

Another highlight of the decade must include yet another school production. How many can recall the Millennium Dome performance of ‘Our Town’ with Mrs Davidson-Brown?

Other novel events of the time include the launch of the Green Programme Environmental Awareness Scheme. Many may assume that this has been a recent initiative – but Parkhall were introducing this to their pupils back in the year 2000! how ahead of the curve were they?

This decade also saw a huge plethora of school trips and educational visits.

Mr Haugh, Mr J Martin and Miss Greenfield took a party off to London in 2001; while Miss Richardson led a visit to County Louth with the Key Programme.

The Home Economics Department took a group of pupils on a cross-community visit to Disneyland Paris in conjunction with pupils from the then St. Olcan’s in Randalstown.

In 2003 Mrs Sufferin led a school tour of to Paris and Switzerland - travelling all the way on the bus!

Mr Martin began leading his football tours to England, with the initial one going off to watch Everton v Blackburn Rovers. These were to continue and expand as the years went on and again continue to this day.

The girls were off in 2008 on a hockey tour of Holland with Mrs White and Miss Huey, followed by a visit to the Vatican City of Rome in 2009.

This decade also saw the ski trips being re-established through the leadership of Mr Harbinson, the highlight of which was their 2007 and 2009 visits to New Hampshire in the USA.

What a time the kids of that decade must have had! Were you one of them? Or perhaps one of the parents who had to pay for them?

A quick mention of other things that may jog memories must include the introduction of the schools formals that were held in the Hilton Hotel, later to move to the Comfort Hotel.

The European Day of Languages began back in 03, plus there was the continued success of the PTA events, the visit of the Royal Navy Lynx Helicopter landing in the centre of the cricket pitch followed by a careers talk with the year 10 pupils in 07.

What about ‘Burma Comes to Parkhall RE Department’ in 2009 along with the ‘Parkhall’s Got Talent’ show in the same year?

The many cricket teams that Mr Martin developed in the school beginning in this decade too with the introduction to early morning cricket in the school gym from 8am with cricket balls flying everywhere!

Were you one of the boys that couldn’t get into school on-time but could for those 8am cricket sessions?

This decade also gave rise to many competition successes on the sports field with the boys reaching the IFA Senior Cup final in 2000 and the girls’ hockey team going to the Youth Games in 01 and the montage of future sports stars pictured together back in 2007.

Away from sport, the Young Enterprise winners gained the title of North East Company of the Year with ‘Klassy Krafts’ in 2007. Two-years later celebrity chef Jamie Olivier presented the school’s team of chefs with the winner’s accolade for N.I. and overall UK runners up with a very proud Miss Riley in attendance.

The Art Department also gained recognition for their excellent photography in the 2008 winning entry into the Antrim Borough Council Road Safety competition.

How many of the readers can remember taking part in these successes and recall the contribution they and their friends of yesteryear made to those achievements?

The first Head Girl in the 2000s era was a young lady called Karen Jackson and she was very ably assisted by Head Boy Lee Buchanan. 

Every former student will have their own memories, but how many of these names ring a bell? What about Mrs Gleghorne, Miss Gaston, Mr McClintock, Mr Beckett, Ms Finlay and Mrs Burns to name but a few.

Parkhall pupils have a long tradition of generosity and during this decade did some excellent fundraising work for local and national charities.

There are a lot more photos to delve through at your leisure on the school’s website.

Next up in the coming weeks is a look back to the 2010s...

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