St James' to get new principal soon: Bishop

No more extensions for Terence Ireland, who held post for 18 years and had 3 extensions after reaching retirement age

By Mita Mukherjee and Jhinuk Mazumdar in Calcutta
  • Published 21.11.18, 2:26 AM
  • Updated 21.11.18, 2:26 AM
  • 2 mins read
Probal Kanta Dutta Telegraph file picture

The board of governors of St James’ School on Tuesday decided not to give another extension to Terence Ireland, who has been the principal of the institution for 18 years.

The board will appoint a new principal within three months.

Probal Kanta Dutta, the bishop of the Calcutta diocese of the Church of North India (CNI), said after the board meeting at Bishop House that the post would be advertised to find a pool of suitable candidates to choose from.

Like the two La Martiniere institutions, St James’ School functions under the CNI and the bishop is the chairman of the board of governors. “The process of selection of the new principal will start immediately. We hope to complete the selection process within three months,” the bishop said.

Ireland, 66, had joined St James’ School as principal in 2000. Since crossing the normal retirement age of 60, he has thrice received an extension.

The last extension came during the tenure of the previous bishop, Ashoke Biswas. Ireland’s term was to last till 2020 and it was understood that he would help set up an undergraduate college, sources said.

After Dutta took over as bishop in October, he announced a string of changes to the administrative policies of CNI-run schools and promised more transparency and fairness in the admission process.

The bishop also announced that CNI-run institutions where the posts of principal were vacant and those being administered by retired school heads would all get new faces.

Pratt Memorial, St Thomas’ Boys’ School, St Thomas’ Girls’ School, St John’s Diocesan Higher Secondary School and Union Chapel are some of the other institutions run by the Calcutta diocese of the CNI.

The board of governors of St James’ School usually meets every quarter on the school premises. The last meeting was in September.

Ireland was unavailable for comment but several teachers of the school said his long term was marked by multiple expansion projects, including a basketball court, a swimming pool and a new building with smart classes.

St James’ School has won The Telegraph School of the Year Award on four occasions during Ireland’s tenure.

The CNI on Tuesday appointed Carolyn Lionel, the principal of St John’s Diocesan Girls’ Higher Secondary School, as the new head of Pratt Memorial. The post had been vacant since Meribah Suresh, the previous principal, died.

An advertisement for the post of principal of St John’s Diocesan School will be published soon, the bishop said.