Final letter to Parents

June 2022

Dear Parent/Guardian

I thought that I would take this opportunity to write to you, mainly to thank you, for your support and your many kindnesses over the past 8 years. It has been such a privilege and an education for me to work in St. Patrick’s NS.

They say that it takes a village to raise a child and that is even more true when it comes to a child’s education. It takes the child, the teacher and certainly it takes you, the parents, as well. The way in which you support your children and, by extension, the school, makes St. Patrick’s the place it is.

These last years have been some of the strangest we will ever experience – I hope – and maybe they have given us all a renewed appreciation of the importance of school. I think I knew before Covid that the most important thing that children learn in school is how to socialise and how to live in a community, but now I’m absolutely sure of it. Those silent months, when there were no children in the school, were dreadful; I know that they were very hard on you as well. And, if I’m honest, it’s a slow process getting our school back to being the community it was before. But these last months have really helped – we’re having breaks together now and we have tours and plays and a lot more fun.  Senior Infants’ classroom is right across from the office in the school and they sing every day. I just love to hear it –  without music our school was a very dreary place.

Through it all, I was grateful for your understanding and support and I still am. I know very well that I made lots of mistakes over the past 8 years. This job brings with it a great deal of responsibility –I am not sure if it’s possible to get it all right but I want you to know that I honestly did my best.

I would be delighted if you could join us in the school on June 24th for any or all of the celebrations on that day. I’m delighted that we’ll be cutting the ribbon on our new extension before I go. But a building is not a school. It’s the people in it who make it what it is. I think that our school is full of great people and I’m very proud to have been a small part of that. My sincere thanks and best wishes to each and every one of you.

Le gach dea-ghuí,

Máirín O’Keeffe