Sunday 25 June 2017

'Walk of fame' in honour of teacher

Retiring teacher Ann McHugh pictured with a presentation made to her after a 35-year career.
Retiring teacher Ann McHugh pictured with a presentation made to her after a 35-year career.

Not many people get the honour of "the walk of fame".

It was bestowed on Ann McHugh on her last day teaching at Scoil Criost Ri, in Rockfield, Coolaney.

It marked the end of her 35-year teaching career in the school.

As she left, all the pupils lined the corridor, guard of honour style.

With music in the background, they all gave her cards and wished her well.

Hence, the Walk of Fame.

Ann, 56, said: "They all waved me off.

"They had bunting and balloons.

"They had 'just retired' on the registration of the car.

"My husband, Gerry, was with me. It was very emotional.

"I was happy and sad."

Ann (nee Cullen) is a native of Cleveragh Road, in Sligo.

She herself attended primary and secondary school at the nearby Mercy Convent. She graduated with a BA from University College Galway. She then obtained her primary School Diploma from St. Patrick's College.

She has worked in Coolaney all her life. She said: "I went there when I was 21.

"For the last 10 years I have been doing learning support.

"I was a class teacher for 25 years before that, mostly teaching infants and junior classes.

"I also taught in St Paul's in Collooney."

Looking back, it seems it was her destiny to remain in Coolaney. I loved the school. It was a lovely place to work. There is a very good community up there."

As a young teacher, she met her husband, Gerry, in the Rugby Club in Sligo.

He is from Coolaney and currently works on a Community Employment Scheme in Ballymote.

Ann recalled:

"Then I met Gerry and that sealed the deal.

"We got married in 1984.

"We had three children and I brought them to school with me in the back of the car."

Now that she is retired, she has other things she wishes to do.

Among them is visiting her children, a son James and twin daughters, Niamh and Elaine, all of whom are abroad.

Ann said: "I am very happy.

"There are other things I would like to do such as travelling, gardening, shopping, dancing . . ."

But she said she will miss her teaching colleagues, the children and their parents.

Now, everyone is wishing her health and happiness for the future.

Sligo Champion

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