We are delighted to hear that our previous teacher and now Principal, Mr Declan Quinn has been shortlisted in the inaugural Teachers Inspire Awards 2019. Declan was nominated by a past student, Robert Hughes and his parents, Christopher and Cathy, for the help, support and encouragement he gave Robert, who joined DCS in 2013. Robert, who experiences mental health difficulties. has a love of woodwork, which was fostered and encouraged by Mr Quinn in the classroom. This support has continued since Declan became our Principal in 2017.
He is one of twenty teachers from across Ireland who has been the shortlisted for the inaugural Teachers Inspire Ireland initiative. The initiative, which is focused on highlighting the enormous contribution made by teachers in Irish society, was launched by DCU earlier this year, with the support of businessman and philanthropist Dermot Desmond.
Earlier this year, DCU called for members of the public to share their personal stories of how a teacher transformed their lives and / or their community. The 20 teachers announced on Monday – five from each province – have been shortlisted from over 400 entries received from every corner of Ireland. None of the teachers knew they were nominated in advance.
Announcing the shortlist in DCU, Professor Brian MacCraith, President of DCU, said: “The entries submitted to Teachers Inspire Ireland demonstrate just how significant a role teachers play in Irish life. “We received stories about teachers dealing in an inspirational way with major societal challenges. We received stories of teachers who have played – and continue to play – a key part in helping individuals and whole communities adapt to change. “The nominations highlighted teachers dealing with issues such as homelessness, mental health, immigration, unplanned pregnancies, gender identity support, community regeneration, and climate change. They were submitted by schoolchildren, parents, and people whose schooldays are long behind them but who remember their teachers with great fondness and gratitude. “What is abundantly clear from the nominations received is the extent to which so many teachers go above and beyond their ‘job description’. It was extraordinarily difficult to select a shortlist of 20 from all the amazing stories we received. However, the 20 teachers being celebrated have had truly lasting and transformative impacts on the lives of their students and on their wider communities.”
Entries to Teachers Inspire were reviewed by a panel chaired by former President of Ireland Mary McAleese. In October, four of the shortlisted teachers – one from each province – will receive the inaugural Teachers Inspire Ireland Desmond Awards. We wish Mr Quinn all the best in October.