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An interview with Mrs McHugh for International Receptionists’ Day

An interview with Mrs McHugh for International Receptionists’ Day

As it is International Receptionists’ Day on Wednesday 8th May, we caught up with Mrs Annie McHugh who has been Kilgraston’s morning Receptionist for six years. She works five mornings per week and loves her job, thriving on the flexible demands and positive environment…

“August 2013 marked the end of the motherhood ‘protective bubble’ which had surrounded my babies and me for seven years.  Today, Mummy was going to work!

Kilgraston’s driveway was the start of my new journey; the trees lining the road providing a useful countdown to my grand arrival at the front door.

What could possibly happen, I thought, that life had not already thrown at me?  Four years of University teacher training; ranked in the UK’s top ten for kayak slalom; eight years’ in the finance sector and, the one from which I would mainly draw strength, the ability to react, adapt and smile, gained during motherhood.

Hopefully, I am well presented, punctual and have the ability to communicate effectively with staff, pupils, parents and visitors.  Knowing the names of almost every pupil in the senior school makes it easier to deal with the day-to-day demands of a busy office environment.

Kilgraston, as with any school, continually presents different situations – from girls sustaining a knock on the hockey field, to unexpected visits from former pupils and the arrival of School Inspectors. There is never a ‘same’ day and I truly love every minute.

Each term brings something new.  Summer, for me is the most exciting time with the promise of longer holidays, House competitions and end-of-year talent showcasing concerts.  The expectation of exams has gone, replaced with the emotion of saying goodbye. In the air is the hope that we’ll have good weather for both Sports Day and picnics on the front lawn at Speech Day.  Summer brings the school together and it is at these times, when it really does become one body.

It’s not always smooth running though.  Head of Maths, and Queen of Stats, Mrs Speed, runs an annual Maths Stats Course, where teachers from other schools come to Kilgraston to work through the latest coursework.

By coincidence, one year, on the same day, Kilgraston held Mass, with both events generating several visitors. Within minutes of the scheduled start of the service, a lady arrived. I enquired as to whether she was here for the start of Mass. “Yes indeed,” she responded. Quick as a flash, I scooped her up and travelled at break neck, high-heeled, speed to deliver her safely to the chapel door, which she entered and was not seen again for another hour. She never did make the beginning of Mrs Speed’s Maths Course. In fairness, it does sound awfully like ‘Mass’!

It would be difficult not to be impressed by the grandeur of the entrance to Kilgraston or the recently redesigned elegant, yet informal, waiting area.  Mrs MacGinty has influenced many of the spaces within the school and Reception is just one in which her vision is reflected, producing a lovely place to work.

Here, it is easy to shut-out the influences of the wider world and become absorbed in the pupils and staff, who are collectively striving towards a greater future for woman in the world.”

Summer Term, 2019

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