St Dominic's Primary School and Nursery Class officially opened

Provost Jean Jones officially opened the new St Dominic's Primary School at a special ceremony in front of pupils, staff and parents

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The provost unveiled a plaque, which will be displayed at the entrance of the school.

St Dominic's opened to pupils in September this year at a cost of £7million. It replaces the former primary, which was burnt down in March 2015.

Provost Jones said: "The school and nursery are the latest successful project of our Schools and Centres 21 programme. It's a wonderful design and includes a fantastic range learning and play provision both indoors and outdoors. Our contractors Morrison Construction have done a marvellous job."

The Right Reverend Joseph Toal, Bishop of Motherwell, gave the blessing and dedication, saying: "I hope this school can become a home of truth, wisdom, faith and learning to all."

While the opening heralds a new chapter in the history of the school, it also marked the end of an era as Teresa Verrechia, Head Teacher for the past 22 years, will retire this Christmas.

Teresa Verrechia retires after 22yrs as head teacher of St Dominic's Primary School

She said: "It's been a real honour to serve as head teacher - our staff are incredibly hard working and committed to giving the best learning opportunities to our pupils. I'm grateful to all the pupils, parents and staff for their incredible support over the years."

Mrs Verrechia also thanked staff and pupils at St Margaret's High School - where St Dominic's was based for the three and a half years, while the new school was built.

During the event pupils entertained the guests with a medley of uplifting songs.

Cllr Frank McNally, Convener of Education, added: "Teresa has led her school with great distinction over many years and in recent years her leadership was certainly required.

"It was vital in keeping the school community of St Dominic's together, and ensuring the children continued to flourish.

"For everything she has contributed, Teresa deserves our deepest appreciation and heartfelt gratitude. We wish Teresa and Peter all the very best for a long and enjoyable retirement."

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