On Wednesday, 19th December, 2018 all the children and staff arrived for school as normal but it was no ordinary day. It was a day to celebration for Ms. Kelly who was retiring after 16 years of teaching and 13 of those years as principal.
The event kicked off with a nativity play, ‘The Sleepy Shepherd’ which was beautifully performed by the junior and senior infants. One always feels that Christmas really starts when the nativity play is staged to a room of proud smiling parent s only seeing their child among the cast. Afterwards we were treated to the soft harmonised voices of the bigger children who sang carols followed by some poems dedicated to Ms. Kelly. Then sixth class sang their version of the popular George Ezra’s pop song ‘Shotgun’ with mentions of geography, writing neatly and sitting up correctly, all of which they said reminded them of Ms. Kelly’s teaching.
Then for the icing on the cake. As the children of the senior room sang a lamenting version of ‘Isle of Hope’ they were joined by a surprise visitor in the form of Tommy Fleming who came to surprise Ms. Kelly on her retirement day. Children, staff and parents were all overwhelmed to be entertained by Tommy in such a personal setting. Afterwards Ms. Kelly was presented with gifts from the staff and pupils including a special gift – her ‘retirement toolkit’ which provided her with some of the essential things she will need for her new life. After some speeches and photos everyone was invited to stay for tea and cake while the children were entertained by an entertainer. Parents, past pupils and staff from past and present came to wish Ms. Kelly well.
The day was a happy day looking back at all Ms Kelly had achieved while teaching in Straide. She will be so missed but her legacy will live on in Straide for years to come.