(Wed. 1 March, 2023) – A dedicated KCETB teacher will be honoured tomorrow at a special ceremony in Croke Park and star in a nationwide video campaign alongside RTE newsreader Ray Kennedy.
Michael Farrell, a teacher of English and Geography at Kilkenny City Vocational School, has been selected as to take part in an inspiring ETB (Educational and Training Board)) Heroes media campaign featuring former and current learners and staff who have excelled in their chosen field and who represent the best of what ETBs do.
Kilkenny City Vocational School (KCVS) is one of 13 schools, two further education and training colleges and 24 further education and training centres operated by KCETB that is this week marking the inaugural ETB Week and ETB Day (2 March) alongside 15 other education and training boards around the country. The ETB Heroes campaign will be launched tomorrow at a special event in Croke Park for ETB Week, organised by Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI).
Michael is the only “unsung hero” of the campaign and will join RTE newsreader and journalist Ray Kennedy, singer/songwriter Tolü Makay, TG4 sports presenter Máire Treasa Ní Dhubhghaill and Olympian swimmer Jack McFadden in the ETB Heroes campaign alongside five students they have inspired.
Taking part in the video campaign with Michael is his former student Alauddin Mohammad who came to Ireland six years ago as a refugee with his two older brothers. His parents couldn’t join them and Alauddin spoke no English but got involved in everything in KCVS where Mr Farrell was a big influence. Alauddin said Michael took him under his wing in loco parentis and was always there for him. Now, as a 1st Year accountancy student at SETU Waterford, Alauddin said Michael “helped to make me the man I am today”.
Alauddin will join Mr Farrell and the other heroes in Croke Park tomorrow for ETB Day at which the video campaign will be premiered. Alauddin and Mr Farrell have also been invited by ETBI to present one of the ETB Excellence Awards which will be hosted at the same event by RTE newsreader and fellow ETB Hero Ray Kennedy.
Michael, who is from Freshford, joined the staff of Kilkenny City Vocational School in 2011. He commented, “I was completely shocked when I heard the news and quite overwhelmed. It’s great for the entire staff of KCVS. I love teaching and am still in contact with former pupils who often drop in to say hello”.
KCETB Chief Executive Eileen Curtis said that staff across the entire organisation are delighted for Michael and Alauddin. “When we heard about the ETB Heroes campaign, we were told there would be one unsung hero of the campaign – a student or staff member who is not a household name but a real hero. We nominated Mr Farrell and are so thrilled and excited that he was chosen. Michael represents the best of our organisation and he is one of many dedicated and talented teachers and tutors across KCETB who help transform peoples’ lives for the better. We offer him and Alauddin our warmest congratulations and best wishes”, she commented.
For details on ETB Week, follow #ETBDay #LáETB
Caption: Chairperson of KCETB, Cllr Fergal Browne makes a presentation to KCVS teacher Michael Farrell in recognition of his selection as one of just five national ETB Heroes