THE WHOLE SCHOOL community at Holy Family G.N.S. celebrated the retirement of principal Betty Regan on Wednesday last.
The celebrations commenced with a celebration of the Eucharist at Holy Family Church, Askea. The whole school community was represented at this ceremony, along with members of Mrs. Regan's family, husband Adrian, daughters, Claire, Lisa, Jill and Jane, sons-in-law Theo and Brian, grandchildren Isobel, Annelise and Ruth.
Her parents Paddy and Mary were also in attendance, as were her brothers Stephen and Matt and many friends and colleagues. Breda Heffernan, Deputy Principal, congratulated Mrs. Regan on her retirement and wished her many years of health and happiness. She also thanked her for her many years of dedication and commitment to the pupils of the school. These good wishes were also extended by Very Rev. Fr. Tom Little and Pat Doyle on behalf of the Board of Management and by Mary Wogan on behalf of the Parents' Council.
Betty, a native of Timahoe, Co. Laois, attended primary school in Timahoe and later attended boarding school at St. Leo's Convent of Mercy, Carlow. She attended teacher training college at Carysfort College of Education, Blackrock, Co. Dublin.
She commenced her teaching career in St. Catherine's N.S. on St. Joseph's Rd. in 1975 which relocated to Holy Family G.N.S in Askea in 1976. Betty taught all of the mainstream classes during her 29 years teaching and in 2004, was appointed principal of the school.
In her address, Breda Heffernan, Deputy Principal, spoke of Betty's dedication to the pupils in her care and of her support to all the staff in the school. She said that Betty's decision making has always been shaped by consideration of the best interests of the pupils in the school. ' The school is a hive of collaboration and co-operation…a joyful place to learn and teach, where every opportunity is afforded to pupils in order that each one to quote the words of the school anthem, 'is given a chance "in life's special dance and no-one is lost on the way".'
Fr. Little, Chairman of the Board of Management thanked Betty for her years of dedication to the school and the whole school community.
Pat Doyle, Treasurer, Board of Management, in his address, commended Betty on the excellent standard of teaching and learning in the school. He said that she has been a most dedicated and committed principal, always concerned to further the development of the school.
He thanked her for her concern at all times for the education and welfare of the pupils and her concern for the teaching staff. He added that under Betty's leadership and direction - justice, respect, service, care, unity and an excellent standard of behaviour and learning is evident in the everyday life of the school.
Betty, in her address spoke of the school being ' the cornerstone of any community, the building blocks on which a community stands. The children become the community, and so the teachers in every school bear huge responsibility on their shoulders. The real work of the teacher is to infuse confidence in each child, to enable them to become the best person they can be. A teacher needs to recognise and acknowledge the diverse and wonderful talents in the children she teaches. Children thrive on praise and encouragement, kindness and respect- in Holy Family GNS, we do that well'.
She then went on to thank her parents, her family, all the members of the school and parish communities for their support throughout her teaching career.