Well known Deputy principal of Scoil Naomg Fiache, Illistrin, Doreen Sheridan Kennedy is set to retire after dedicating 40 years to education.
As she retires from her position, Mrs. Kennedy paid tribute to the Illistrin school that she watched ‘develop from a small county school to the second largest in Donegal’.
As part of her retirement, a charity night will be held tonight (Saturday, September 21) at the Radisson Letterkenny from 8pm.
All proceeds will be donated to local charities Mary Meals and the parishes NET team.
Talking about what she enjoyed most about her role as Assistant teacher and Deputy principal, Mrs. Kennedy commented: ” I have always felt a sense of pride and loyalty to Illistrin, it’s pupils, staff, parents and Board of Management over the years.
“Under the different principals of Charlie McGinley, Colm Gallagher, Tom Feeney and presently Luke Kilcoyne, I have watched the school develop from a small country school to the second largest in the county, possibly the best!
“I thank them all for their work and commitment to Illistrin, in particular, Tom Feeney, whose vision for facilities and community have given the school community great resources and ongoing projects still being improved.
“I have watched new styles of teaching and learning evolve and observed an ethos that continues to grow based on our motto “Ag cothu an tsiol”.
“I wish you well as a board, with your ongoing developments, staffing, and the building of resources as you become more diverse, day by day, in being an inclusive school community.”
She added: “My five children attended Illistrin and that is the best testimony I can give to the school as it allowed them endless opportunities to develop and grow through sport, dance, drama, athletics, gardening, green schools and a broad curriculum providing them with a solid foundation before secondary school and further journeys in life.”
She continued: “Children are the most important element of our school and their welfare, mental health and well-being are vital for them. So, any programmes the school can provide for the modern world they live in is more important than a Sten score of 10 in standardised tests or a 10 out of 10 in the Friday spellings test.”
“Look after your staff, it is their place of work and as they move forward in providing an excellent curriculum and environment and care for the children of Illistrin to learn and grow.
“Support their wellbeing and mental health in whatever way you can, time for retreats, in-service, ongoing collaboration with fellow staff and school community as they deal with the rough and tumble that life throws at them.”
Speaking highly of her staff, Mrs. Kennedy said: “ Last but not least, I thank my staff, for their loyal and steadfast support over the years.
“I thank Mr Luke Kilcoyne for his style of leadership since he joined us five years ago.
“He has enhanced, improved and strengthened the school life of Scoil Naomh Fiachra since his addition to the staff, with his endless knowledge and vision.
“I wish him and the staff God’s blessing in the challenging times that lie ahead.
“Thank you, Monsignor Kevin Gillespie, for your leadership to our Board of Management, for the reverence and respect that comes with you, as you bring forward the school community in the present climate.
“Thank you for the great years and times that I have shared with the community of Scoil Naomh Fiachra as I look forward to a different journey in life with my family and friends.”
Admission to the Radisson Letterkenny will be €5, with music by Ann Birdie and Paddy McDaid. All welcome.