Portadown man Raymond Pollock has been honoured for his service to education during a special reception at Stormont.
Mr Pollock, who retired recently after a long career as headmaster at Banbridge Academy, was honoured at the reception hosted by Upper Bann MLA Jo-Anne Dobson.
Current and former colleagues of Mr Pollock, a former pupil of Edenderry Primary School and Portadown College, attended the event.
Mrs Dobson said, “It was an honour and a privilege for me to host a reception at Stormont, where we were joined by Raymond’s colleagues both past and present, to mark his retirement.
“It was wonderful to see the Great Hall packed with so many people.
“Raymond, backed up by his fantastic staff, both past and present, and with the unyielding support of his wife Joan and their girls, Claire, Jill and Katie, touch the lives of young people at the most important time in their lives.
“His many achievements were officially recognised in the New Year’s Honours List in 2009 when he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. Royal recognition for a rich and rewarding influence on the lives of so many of our young people.
“There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as Raymond paid a very emotional and personal tribute to his parents and their impact on his career. He also recounted fond memories of his time at Banbridge Academy, from his arrival in 1995 up to the recent triumph of the school in winning the McCullough Cup!
“Far from being a retirement this is just the end of a long and illustrious chapter and perhaps as equally important the beginning of a new and exciting one.
“I wish Raymond, Joan and their family every blessing for the future.
“I would also like to commend those members of staff and the governors who worked so hard to organise the reception and especially to keep it all a secret from Raymond!”