Paul completed his Leaving Cert in Marian College, Dublin, before going on to do a Degree in Botany and Maths in UCD. He decided to pursue his interest in Teaching and did his Higher Diploma in Education back in Marian College. Years later he applied for, and was successful in becoming Principal at that school.
School Principal Paul Meany
Ask me your
What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?
I was always very involved in sport and interested in teaching from my final years in school. I was particularly interested in English and Science subjects. I chose to do science degree at UCD - in Botany and Maths. I got an opportunity to do my Higher Diploma in Education (HDE) at my old school, Marian College.
I enjoyed biology, then (1973) a new subject on the Leaving Certificate, so I got the opportunity to teach Biology and Maths at Marian College. Also I was very involved in basketball administration, playing and coaching in the 1970's and 1980's.
I decided to study for a Masters in Education (M.Ed) degree in Trinity College in the late 1970's. The Marist Brothers opened the school to lay Principalship in 1988. I applied and was appointed Principal in 1988. I am still Principal there now! I have been very involved with the Association of Management of Catholic Secondary Schools (AMCSS) and served as President of the AMCSS from 2003-2006.
Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?
How did you go about getting your current job?
Describe a typical day?
There is no typical day in the sense that a knock on the door might mean a 30 second conversation or it might be a problem that would dominate the remainder of the week. The job entails huge interpersonal interaction, with a good deal of conflict management.
It involves a lot of administrative and organisational skills. It also provides opportunities for longer term planning and leadership.
The day starts at about 7.30.pm. and may not finish until late in the evening if there are Board meetings or meetings with the Parents Association.
What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
- Principal teacher and leader of the team of teachers and other staff
- De facto Manager on a day-to-day basis, answerable to the Board of Management of the school which meets once a month
- Responsible to the Department of Education and Science for the administration of the school under the regulations of the Department
- Responsible for ensuring that the ethos of the school is maintained for the Marist Brothers who are the owners and trustees of the school
What are the main challenges?
What's not so cool?
What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?
What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
What is your education to date?
What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?
What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?
What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?
Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?
What advice would you give to someone considering this job?
What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?
Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?
- Career Development?
- Current Job?
- Education and Training?
- Personal Qualities?
- Advice for Others?