Oakgrove Principal to retire after 40 years in school

The principal of Oakgrove Integrated Primary School, Dr Anne Murray, has announced she is to retire at the end of the summer.

Having already cut her hours in a phased retirement plan, her last big event at the school will be at the Mid-Summer Ball on June 21.

Dr. Anne Murray, retiring Principal of Oakgrove Primary School, Waterside, Londonderry. INLS1814MC008

Dr. Anne Murray, retiring Principal of Oakgrove Primary School, Waterside, Londonderry. INLS1814MC008

In addition to her own links with the school, Dr Murray revealed that her daughter, Nora, who works as a doctor in Edinbrugh, was a pupil at the school and was one of the first pupils to enter Oakgrove Integrated College. Her other daughter, Grace, is a teacher, also in Edinbrugh, while her son, Hugh, lives in Canada, where he works in computers.

“I think I’m going to need shares in EasyJet,” Dr Murray joked, hinting that travel may be high on her agenda when she leaves the school in August.

“I have very mixed feelings about retiring. I have had 41 Septembers in school, so I don’t know what the 42nd is going to feel like. I will miss the children, the staff and the parents, because it is a very social place to work and every year brings something new, exciting, wonderful and lovely,” she said.

Having served for 23 years in Oakgrove, Dr Murray was at the helm before the school opened helping to find the premises, to set it up and to engage the teachers.

Dr. Anne Murray, retiring Principal of Oakgrove PS, Waterside, Londonderry. INLS1814MC007

Dr. Anne Murray, retiring Principal of Oakgrove PS, Waterside, Londonderry. INLS1814MC007

“We opened with 68 and we now have 450, so it has been a really long, good journey and I have to say I have enjoyed every minute of it,” she said of her career at the school.

She said that the children at the school had been “really funny” about her retirement, particularly as she had been on phased retirement and already working less hours.

“They said Mrs Murray why are you leaving us? We don’t want you to leave,” she said of their reaction to the news.

Asked what she planned to do with her retirement years, Dr Murray revealed that she has recently become a grandmother and now had a seven week old grandchild, Daire, whom she had already visited a month ago.

To watch a video interview with Dr Murray log onto our website, www.londonderrysentinel.co.uk and look under the news tab.