Well wishes to Ballyclare High’s Mr Leckey as he retires from teaching

Ballyclare High School has extended well wishes to Philip Leckey after he retired from teaching at the end of 2021, following 33 years at the Rashee Road school.
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Philip, who started teaching at the grammar school back in 1988, held a number of leadership roles throughout his time there, including being head of Business Studies from 2010 until 2018, the subject he most recently taught.

During over three decades of service, the rugby enthusiast also taught IT, Drama and RE.

Speaking to the Newtownabbey Times, he said: “I worked under Mr Millar, Mr Fitzpatrick, Mr Knox and Dr Rainey and there were definitely a few changes during my time at Ballyclare High.

Philip Leckey retired from teaching in December.Philip Leckey retired from teaching in December.
Philip Leckey retired from teaching in December.

“I got to work in a number of departments and I really enjoyed my time at the school, working with some great colleagues and students.

“I served as head of Year 8 for a spell from 2000 and it was great to see all the first year pupils joining the school and helping them to settle in.

“I also served as chair of the PTFA, chair of the Old Ballyclarians Association and I was the school’s business manager.

“Outside of the classroom, I played an active role in the school’s rugby setup. I got to work with some amazing colleagues, including the late Tommy Young, Dan Soper and Mike Orchin-McKeever and some players who excelled at the game, including former Ireland player Gary Longwell, Ricky Lutton, Willie Stewart and Grant Bartley. Highlights of my time spent as part of the rugby setup included tours to New Zealand and Canada.

“I’d like to thank my colleagues and my family for the support I received during my time at the school. It was my first job in teaching and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

“Stepping down now was the right time for me, but I’ll be keeping close ties with the school and I wish my colleagues and the pupils every success for the future.”

Wishing him well, a spokesperson for the school said: “Mr Philip Leckey who has been a member of staff for 33 years has decided to retire from teaching.

“We will sorely miss his expertise and dedication to the pupils in his care. A unique and colourful character, it will also be much quieter around our corridors, inside the classroom and beside the rugby pitches.

“He volunteered and helped in all areas of extra-curricular life in school, turning his hand to any task that would benefit the children.

“No one was ever in doubt about how much he cared. Mr Leckey, we wish you well as you embark on the next stage of your adventure and thank you for all you have done for all of us.”

Mr Leckey will not be sitting still after departing from Ballyclare High and is now “semi-retired” having got a job at Belfast’s Europa Hotel.

The Belfast man, who attends Glenabbey Church in Glengormley, added: “I’m now concierge at the Europa Hotel. I started in December and I’m loving it. It’s great craic and beats working behind a desk.”