McLoughlin makes history as Maritzburg College's first woman deputy principal

2009-02-19 00:00

MARITZBURG College's first female deputy, Ann McLoughlin, is not a woman to be trifled with. She has become the first woman to hold the office of deputy principal in the school's 146-year history.

Essentially, you could even say she is College's first deputy principal as two of her male counterparts currently sharing that position with her, including those of a similar rank in the past, were referred to as deputy headmasters.

"They asked what I wanted to be called and I opted for deputy principal," she said with a broad smile.

McLoughlin has made teaching her passion and life's purpose.

Unlike her childhood, which saw her school-hopping in different parts of the country as a result of her father's job (she matriculated in the Free State), McLoughlin's College roots run deep.

She has been an integral part of the growth and development of the Maritzburg College community since 1981.

Through her "woman's touch" and her well of ideas, the school continues to thrive through innovative initiatives such as Adopt a Classroom, where old boys were roped into the transformation of classrooms. This meant discarding old desks and replacing them with nesting tables and putting in blinds and carpets in classrooms. The refurbished classrooms bear the names of old boys who sponsored them.

"I have never questioned for one day why I came here. I have always felt that this is the school I wanted to be in, which would explain why I have been here for so long. I have been allowed to run with new ideas and given the opportunity to explore É I always had fantastic support."

Headmaster Ron Jury, who has been at College for the same length of time as McLoughlin, said he respects her for her capabilities and experience.

"She is a popular member of our staff, having been here a long time. She is the best candidate for the position É not having a female deputy principal before has never been intentional, but she happened to be the most experienced person for academics at this stage," he said.

McLoughlin's new project is an outreach programme they have decided to call "Yes We Can".

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