Following a long and thorough process, Ms. Geraldine Heffernan has been appointed Principal of the Academy. A woman of outstanding talent with an unwavering commitment to the mission of the Academy, Geraldine brings a zeal to lead the Academy in the challenging years ahead. Geraldine completed her bachelor's degree with joint honours in Irish and French from University College Cork (UCC) in 1994 before continuing her postgraduate studies in applied linguistics, graduating with her MA from UCC in 1996. After a number of years teaching in Ireland and in France, Geraldine entered the world of television, spending six years as a producer and director with Nemeton TV in County Waterford. During her time with Nemeton, Geraldine produced and directed numerous Irish language documentary films, including "Kennedy's Cadets," "Na Chéad Fight Clubs" and the widely acclaimed, "Bóithre Iarainn" a two-series production examining the history of Ireland's railways, a network inextricably linked to the country's social and political life. However Geraldine remained drawn back to the classroom and, in particular, her love of language and expression. Speaking of her own passion for language, Geraldine noted that she "trained as a teacher through French in France and as a documentary maker through Irish in the Waterford Gaeltacht. I am absolutely passionate about languages and the enormous richness which they bring to life. In the words of Blaise Pascal “L’homme qui parle deux langues vaut deux hommes” " Since 2014, Geraldine taught Irish and French at St. Augustine's College in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford before joining Mater Dei Academy in September 2022. In addition to her teaching awards, Geraldine also holds a Higher Diploma in Television Production from Waterford Institute of Technology and the CAPES diploma from Université de Rennes II which enabled her extensive work in the French education system. We congratulate Geraldine on this exciting appointment and look forward to supporting Geraldine's leadership of the Academy in the years ahead.
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