Citywest & Saggart

Community National School

Meet our Staff

Mr Mike Byrne


Ms Orla Doherty

Deputy Principal & Support Teacher

Orla Doherty is a qualified primary school teacher with a Post-Graduate Diploma in Learning Support. She initially taught in a senior boys school in the city centre for several years as a class teacher and then in the area of learning support where she trained as a Maths Recovery Teacher and a First Steps Tutor. She joined the Community National School Model in 2009. After three years teaching infants in Scoil Ghrainne CNS, she moved to Citywest & Saggart CNS when it first opened its doors in 2012. She has a keen interest in literacy and numeracy and has spent time teaching voluntarily in Kenya, Peru and India. She has enjoyed spending many holidays travelling around the world and embracing different cultures. She is excited by the changing face of education in Ireland and is driven in pushing Citywest & Saggart CNS forward in both its child centred education and its inclusive ethos.

Ms Karen Kelly

School Secretary

Karen has been working in Citywest & Saggart CNS since it opened in September 2012. She always had a passion for working with children. She qualified with a National Certificate in Pre-School Care in DIT, Cathal Brugha Street. She went on to work in a nursery for 15 years. As well as this, she tutored children with dyslexia. Karen took up the role of supervisor in a crèche under the Education Training Board and was in that role for 7 years prior to taking up her post in Citywest & Saggart CNS. She enjoys dealing with parents, children and teachers and loves the challenging and varied nature of her job. If you have any queries in relation to any aspect of the school, Karen is always happy to help.

Ms Niamh Jordan

Junior Infant Teacher

Niamh Jordan graduated with an honours degree in Primary Education from the Froebel Department of Education in Maynooth University. Niamh believes in the importance of non-academic activities as an integral part of the education of children. She has particular strengths in music and dance and has been an Irish dancer for many years. She is currently training to complete her exams to become a registered Irish dance teacher. Niamh has a particular love for early years education, having completed a number of modules in college that were specifically focused on Aistear and play in the early years. Learning through play, learning from the environment, child-centred, collaborative, and inquiry-based learning are all key features of Niamh’s classroom and teaching style. Niamh is an active volunteer for Saint Vincent de Paul’s Sunshine Fund, working specifically with children living in areas of disadvantage. Ensuring equal opportunities for all children is something Niamh is passionate about. Niamh is thrilled to be working in Citywest and Saggart Community National School where equality, inclusion and respect for all people, are values which are fostered on a daily basis.

Ms Sarah Swan

Senior Infant Teacher & Assistant Principal

Originally from England Sarah completed her degree in Theology and Primary Education from Newman College. After completing her studies she taught in Birmingham for eight years in one of the biggest Catholic Primary Schools in the West Midlands .She taught many different year groups and has had experience in leading many curriculum subjects to include Science, Maths, Religious Education, Early Years Education and Assessment. In 2011 Sarah moved to Ireland and joined the Community National School Model, joining the staff at Scoil Ghráinne. After four very happy years at this school teaching both infants and EAL she has now moved to Citywest & Saggart CNS where she is committed to providing a child centered approach to learning that is inclusive and celebrates the uniqueness of each and every child. With a passion for Early Years education Sarah is excited to work alongside her colleagues to develop the Aistear curriculum.

Ms Róisín Smyth

Senior Infant Teacher

Róisín qualified from Marino Institute of Education with a Professional Masters in Education. She also attained an honours degree in Education Studies, also from MIE. During her degree, she had the opportunity to work in culturally, socially and ethnically diverse educational settings for adults, adolescents and children which has given her a comprehensive insight into the education system as a whole and how important a positive outlook on education is from an early age.

Róisín is a fluent Gaeilge speaker and believes that children should use informal Gaeilge as much as they can. She is also a trained TEFL teacher which has given her the tools and skills required to work in a school such as CSCNS. She has undertaken two dissertations, one on the Maths Recovery Programme and its implementation and on the mainstreaming of children with Special Educational Needs and the advantages associated with this inclusion. Róisín is passionate about inclusion in her classroom and insuring that every child is happy in her classroom, making sure that their individual needs and passions are catered for, something she is delighted to be a part of in CSCNS.

Ms Alison Larkin

First Class Teacher

Alison is a graduate of the Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education, Maynooth University, and has a BA in Art History and Sociology, and an MA in Arts Management and Cultural Policy. She has worked with children in various cultural institutions and community centres in Ireland and abroad. She hopes to combine her love of art and education with her training at Froebel, to promote a child-centred, interactive & creative approach to learning in the classroom. She has a particular interest in promoting the value of play and outdoor activity in children.

Ms Mellissa Kelly

First Class Teacher

Mellissa qualified from Hibernia College Dublin with a Professional Masters in Primary Education. Previous to this she completed a BA in Applied Social Studies and Social Care from DIT and worked
with children and adults with special needs for 5 years. Her qualification in Social Care has instilled in her the importance of a child centred approach along with active learning where integration into the
local and wider community is valued. Mellissa strives to ensure her classroom is a caring learning environment where each child can reach
their full potential and where individuality and diversity is embraced and respected. She has a keen interest in literacy and enjoys fostering a love of reading within her classroom. Mellissa is very excited to be working in Citywest and Saggart Community National School and looks
forward to working with all members of the school community.

Ms Claire Broderick

Second Class Teacher

Claire qualified from Mary Immaculate College with a BA degree in Irish and Media Studies. She then went on to the University of Southampton to complete a PGCE in Primary Education. Claire spent two years teaching in Southampton where she worked as both class teacher and music co-ordinator for her school. She is very musical and loves to share this passion with the children she teaches. She is very excited about bringing this talent to Citywest & Saggart CNS. Claire has spent the last two years teaching in Abu Dhabi in a local private school for Emirati children. She was class teacher of a kindergarten class and was later promoted to grade leader for the whole Kindergarten department. She really enjoyed learning about the culture and traditions of the UAE. Claire has a huge interest in travelling and learning about different ways of life. She is very excited to work in a school where diversity and inclusion is valued. She has a great interest in teaching literacy and she is always researching new and exciting ways of delivering lessons.

Ms Julie Rojack

Third Class Teacher

Julie qualified from IADT with a BA degree in Applied Psychology. After taking time out to travel, she then went on to complete a Professional Master’s Degree in Primary Education from Hibernia College Dublin. Julie is very passionate about instilling a love of learning in the classroom, creating an environment that reflects the child’s interests, learning styles, families, and cultures. Julie strives to nurture a child’s love of learning by expanding on his or her own inquisitive nature, focusing on allowing the children to develop their own ideas, express their feelings, take risks, make choices, and most of all, grow to be strong, thinking individuals.

Julie is excited to be working in a Community National School such as Citywest & Saggart CNS, where the children’s learning is paramount, and in which staff, parents and community members also share in that learning in ways that are stimulating and appropriate to their needs in the 21st Century.

Ms Megan Whyte

Third Class Teacher

Megan Whyte qualified from St. Patrick’s College of Education as a primary school teacher, and received her Masters in Education from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. For two years, Megan taught in Texas and thoroughly enjoyed being immersed in Texan and Mexican culture while she was there.  She hopes to bring much of what she learned whilst living and travelling around the United States to her teaching at a school which intentionally fosters an appreciation of diversity such as Citywest & Saggart CNS. Megan is particularly interested in the areas of literacy and assessment, and she hopes to instil a love of reading amongst the children in her class. Through her teaching, Megan intends to foster a sense of respect and responsibility and ensure that each child achieves to the best of his/her ability.

Ms Eimear Harney

Fourth Class Teacher

Eimear Harney is a qualified primary school teacher with a Masters in Hospitality Management and a Diploma in Montessori teaching. Her qualification in Montessori education ensures that she employs a child centred approach in her teaching enhancing the learning experience within her classroom. Eimear has a particular interest in Irish encouraging the children to use Irish phrases throughout the day. She also values teaching subjects through drama where children learn to develop their communication and collaborative skills and gain a deeper understanding of a story presented in literacy or history. Eimear attended secondary school in Brussels, Belgium where she learnt to speak French and German and met people from all over the world. Coming from a multi-cultural educational setting, Eimear is excited about working in Citywest & Saggart CNS where all of the staff are committed to providing an inclusive educational experience where both students and teachers learn from each other.

Ms Kris Long

Special Education Teacher

Kris qualified from Mary Immaculate Collage with an honours degree in Primary Teaching and Psychology. Her background in psychology has given her a comprehensive knowledge of child development, which allows her to understand thedifferent abilities, behaviours and personalities in a classroom. Her main aim, as a teacher, is to motivate children to use their unique talents in order to achieve their best. Having completed her psychology dissertation in relation to technology integration, Kris believes the use of technology in the classroom is absolutely necessary in order to prepare children for the 21st centaury. Kris also has experience working as an English Language Teacher, teaching international students who travel to Dublin for the summer months. As part of her training in Mary Immaculate Collage she undertook an elective module in Early Childhood Education, which gave Kris a child-centred, discovery and play based teaching style. Kris is excited to be working in Citywest & Saggart CNS where inclusive education is prioritised – something that is central to her own personal philosophy of teaching.

Ms Shirley Brennan

Special Education Teacher

Shirley completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Education and graduated with Distinction from the University of Edinburgh in 2009.  She worked for seven years as a class teacher in variety of schools and across all stages in Edinburgh, before returning to Ireland in August 2016.  Prior to entering the teaching profession, Shirley qualified with a Bachelor of Science Degree in General Nursing from Trinity College Dublin and worked in Tallaght Hospital.  She is excited and enthusiastic to be joining the team at Citywest and Saggart CNS as she feels
that her values and teaching style complements the Community National School model. Shirley has a keen interest in curriculum development and design and looks forward to using her skills and knowledge to help develop the school.

Ms Sarah Glynn

Special Education Teacher

Ms Éadaoin O'Donovan

Special Education Teacher

Éadaoin graduated with a first class honours degree in Education and Psychology from Mary Immaculate in 2016. She spent a year working as a class teacher in London before joining the CSCNS staff as a first class teacher in 2017. Éadaoin is particularly interested in special education and is delighted to join the Special Education Team for the current academic year. She recently completed a Graduate Certificate in Autism studies in Mary Immaculate College, and is looking forward to applying her knowledge and expertise to ensure that every child in CSCNS is included and learning at their own level.  Éadaoin has a keen interest in music and has lots of experience participating in choirs and in choral leadership. She recently put her passion and skills into action by setting up CSCNS’ first school choir, in partnership with Ms. Glynn. Éadaoin is delighted to be working in CSCNS, where all the staff are committed to providing a child-centred and holistic education for every child.

Ms Rachel McMackin

Special Education Teacher

Rachel McMackin qualified from Marino Institute of Education as a primary school teacher and recently completed her honours degree in education. She has a particular interest in the curricular areas of music and P.E. She loves to incorporate music into all curricular areas, and loves how music can make lessons more exciting and engaging for the children. Rachel is interested in fitness and health, and loves exploring and creating nutritious, healthy recipes. She enjoys sharing these interests with the children and teaching them about the importance of looking after their health and wellbeing. Rachel has a great interest in meditation and yoga, having completed her honours degree dissertation in this area. Using these areas of expertise, she hopes to enable the holistic development of the children and allow the children’s wellbeing to evolve and mature. Rachel is excited to become part of the Citywest & Saggart CNS educational team, and looks forward to creating links with the local community.

Ms Angela O'Brien

Special Needs Assistant

Angela O’Brien is our Special Needs Assistant, having come to Citywest & Saggart CNS in September 2013. Angela has almost 10 years experience working with children with special needs and joined us from School Chormaic CNS, Balbriggan. Prior to this she worked for a number of years in a unit for children with autism at Scoil Mhuire NS, Leixlip. She holds a Diploma in Childcare and has studied and obtained Certificates in Applied Behaviour Analysis and Therapeutic Crisis Intervention amongst others. With a passion for working with children in an educational setting, Angela particularly enjoys the diversity, inclusiveness and openness of the CNS model.

Ms Sabrina Rafter

Special Needs Assistant

Sabrina Rafter joined Citywest & Saggart CNS in March 2015. She has over ten years experience working with children. Sabrina has a background in childcare and healthcare. Her qualifications include Early Childcare Development, Healthcare Assistant and Fetac 5 and 6 in Special Needs Training.

Sabrina has experience in a class setting, working with children from all class levels. She appreciates the benefits of play and how this methodology can break down barriers to learning for some children.

Ms Aoife Mahon

Currently on Career Break

Aoife earned her PGCE in Primary School Teaching from Edge Hill University in Liverpool, having graduated from St. Patrick’s College Drumcondra with a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts and Humanities. During her PGCE Aoife completed her placement in a culturally diverse primary school in Luton where she developed an interest in teaching English as an Additional Language, completing a research project on the topic. She then went on to teach in Luton, working with children and parents whose first language was not English, learning many skills and techniques that she hopes to use in CSCNS. Aoife recognises parents as the primary educators of their children and is keen to get them involved in every step of their education. Aoife is very interested in Art and Music and hopes to incorporate these in her teaching as much as she can throughout the day. Aoife is delighted to be working in the inclusive environment that is Citywest & Saggart CNS, which celebrates diversity and community.

Ms Ashling Bates

Currently on Career Break

Ashling Bates qualified from Marino Institute of Education in 2014 and completed her Honours Degree in Education in 2015. Ashling is very passionate in bringing to life a classroom which caters for all learning styles, allowing for each child to reach their full potential. This involves integrating a wide variety of teaching methodologies such as drama, physical activity and music in to everyday lessons. Parents play a hugely important role in their child’s education, while studying in Marino Institute, Ashling completed a module in communicating with Parents. She is always looking for ways to get parents involved in her classroom activities. In addition to the educational benefits parental involvement plays, it also helps foster a strong sense of community within the school. Developing a sense of community is something which Ashling has been brought up to appreciate and she is an active volunteer and underage coach in her local GAA and athletics club in Co. Cavan. Ashling is excited to be working in a Community National School such as Citywest & Saggart CNS, which has successfully brought to life an inclusive and relevant ethos which reflects Ireland in the 21st Century.