Academy celebrates start of golden year

Academy celebrates start of golden year

16th December 2013


A TEESSIDE academy has marked half a century of being at the heart of its community.

St Michael’s Catholic Academy, formerly St Michael’s RC School, Billingham, welcomed students and staff, past, present and future, to a special 50th anniversary Mass of Celebration.

The mass, one of a number of events planned to mark the school’s golden year, was celebrated by Bishop Seamus Cunningham, the Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle Diocese, with priests who have supported the school, including current parish priest Father John Butters, in attendance.

“This marks the start of a very special year for St Michael’s Academy,” said new head of school Andrew Ramsey.

“We are extremely proud of our school’s heritage and its 50th anniversary is a wonderful opportunity to invite everyone within the local community to come and celebrate with us.”

The 875-pupil school, which became an academy on September 1, now forms part of the Carmel Education Trust alongside Holy Family RC Primary School, St Augustine’s RC Primary School and St Gregory’s Catholic Primary School, led by Carmel College, Darlington.

Following the closing reflections of the celebration mass by chief executive of The Carmel Education trust Maura Regan, senior alter server for the parish of St Thomas of Canterbury and former pupil Mark Besford presented Bishop Seamus with a history of St Michael’s School, written by former teacher Eddie Curran.

Deputy head Moira Hunt, who has been associated with St Michael’s since starting as a newly qualified maths teacher in 1977, added: “There have been a lot of changes educationally since I first came to St Michael’s but the ethos of care and respect that everyone has for one another still remains the same.

“From my very first day I felt that there was something very special about the school and that feeling is still with me today.

“I have seen a lot of generations of the same family pass through here and it’s lovely to see the children and grandchildren of former pupils celebrating with us this evening.”

News in December