It’s a daunting task to organise a retirement assembly for a teacher and leader who has given almost 40 years of dedicated service to our school. However, led by Frau Thielemans and their teachers, the children rose to the occasion – and despite the restrictions imposed on us by the pandemic.
Each class said ‘farewell’ to Mrs, Finnegan in their own unique way. There were renditions of favourite songs, Irish dancing, poetry and much more. It was evident that much thought and practice had gone into each performance.
The organisation was quite a feat. Each class was brought, one by one, by their teacher to the assembly area maintaining social distancing. And each performance was relayed to those still in the classrooms via a live ‘Teams’ meet – so everyone got a chance to watch on the big screen in their classroom. Between class performances, and much to Mrs Finnegan’s delight, we were treated to old yearbook photos from as far back as 1982 – when Mrs Finnegan made her first appearance – to the present day. There were also video messages from past pupils and fellow, retired teachers.
As each class left the podium they presented Mrs Finnegan with a rose which she placed in a vase beside her. By assembly end she had a beautiful, fragrant cream and pale pink bouquet. 6th Class made the final presentation of a painting – a whole school project of which every class completed a panel. The painting was evocative of the history of St. Kilian’s and Mrs Finnegan’s time here.
Mrs Finnegan was genuinely moved and thanked the children profusely. It was a truly poignant occasion and a memory to be treasured by the whole school community.