St. Mary's

Mr McLaughlin

Retirement of Mr McLaughlin

This week we say a fond farewell to our longest serving member of staff Mr McLaughlin. He began his post as Teacher of English and PE at what was then “All Saints Roman Catholic High School” in January 1977. When he first walked through the doors of the site then located on Garstang Road, he certainly couldn’t have known that he was about to begin his legacy career as St Mary’s longest serving member of staff. He also most likely didn’t realise that he was about to inspire, shape, guide and change the lives of 1000s of young people of Blackpool. 46 years later, we are wishing Mr McLaughlin a farewell for his well-deserved retirement.

Mr McLlaughlin has worked under numerous Head teachers whilst employed within our Catholic Community; from Sister Maureen and Mr McCarthy, to our most recent heads, Mr Tierney and Mr Eccles, all of whom recognised his organisation, dedication and endeavour for perfection.

In March 1982 when the schools “All Saints Roman Catholic High School” & “St Mary’s” amalgamated he was given the role of Head of Boy’s PE. He has always been at home in his ‘gym kit’ and he was in his element when out on the muddy fields and sports courts, leading many of our teams to victory. MrMcLaughlin’s attitude is to train hard and succeed.

Despite his many successes as Head of PE, he was destined to lead the young people of Blackpool in pastoral care and it was in the early 2000s that he found his true calling and he began the role of Head of Year. He has always prided himself in every one of his year group’s having the very best attendance records and encouraged all students over the years to ‘toughen up’ because he knew just how important attendance was in order for students to succeed.

Mr McLuaghlin has also led some amazing work with Woodlands School. Woodlands pupils have a wide range of learning needs including severe, profound and complex learning difficulties. He reached out to their staff as he wanted to provide opportunities in PE, and this began a partnership which lasted years. Hosting students from Woodlands in our PE facilities, his work ensured that students from Woodlands were able to experience PE lessons, and even horse riding and trips out for other outdoors activities. Many of our students have volunteered to assist in these lessons over the years, and they have gone on to become teachers themselves.

In September 2012, Mr McLaughlin started a new role of “Pastoral Manager”. He remained as committed and driven as the day he began teaching 46 years ago. The Communications Learning House was lucky enough to be assigned Mr McLaughlin as pastoral manager. He supported the team through a time of change as they moved from the old buildings and temporary porta-cabins, into the new modern site we teach in today.

Since then, he has gone on to work alongside Mrs Parry in her role of Head of Year 9 and we know that he will be greatly missed by his Year group, our current Year 9s.

When asking some ex-students to say a few words about Mr McLaughlin, they summed him up in the following way:

“One in a million.”
“What a guy.”
“Glochers; St Mary’s best teacher ever!”
“He taught my mum, my brother and me, and we all loved him!”
“Sound guy! I always see him at Bloomfield and he always says hi!”
“I always knew where I was with him. Clear cut rules. Respect.”

We are incredibly grateful to Mr McLaughlin for the 46 years of dedication and service he has given to our school and the many students and parents he has worked to support. We wish him a happy and peaceful retirement, although in true Mr McLaughlin style he will return to support our DofE expeditions and to do a little bit of volunteer mentoring with some of our students for a few days a week.