The pre-Christmas Castleisland Community College Open night was more like a trip through a craft village with the scents and sounds of the various activities mingling with the banter of the uninitiated.
Potential students, wide-eyed at the career choices laid out for the miles and years ahead of them, gazed between parents and explaining teachers and back again.
The stage is bigger now and, so, the step up and out of their own communities may be daunting and delightful in equal measure.
And then Kerry minor team manager, Jack O’Connor arrived with both the Tom Markham and Sam Maguire Cups to complete a night and a glimpse into a future that held endless possibilities.
It was Principal, Carmel Kelly’s first taste of such an event in Castleisland and the preparation ensured it would be all right on the night.
“A huge thank you to all the local Castleisland extended community for attending the Castleisland Community College Open Night. A great evening was enjoyed by all our guests to the school,” said Ms. Kelly.
“The evening was introduced by a senior member of our student council Caitlin Nolan who spoke of her school experiences of Castleisland Community College and aspirations for the future. Caitlin spoke of the support she has received since beginning at the school. She was the winner of a young social innovators award for her collection of short stories,” said the principal.
Jack O’ Connor, the Kerry football manager launched the new Castleisland Community College school brochure. A very comprehensive document, it details the school services, resources and facilities available to students.
Mr. O’Connor spoke of the very positive atmosphere he experiences when he works in the college every Monday when he coaches the school GAA teams of boys and girls and he provides coaching for the first year students. He spoke of the relationships visible in the corridors between teachers and student and how unique this is.
Ms.Kelly spoke about the community challenging the school to uphold the values of inclusion, respect, quality and equality. She also referenced educating students to be independent, responsible, caring and compassionate human beings.
Deputy Principal, Teresa Lonergan spoke about all the services from positive behaviour management, after school study, book scheme, TY, huge student range very high academic achievement.
Extracurricular provision was also very impressive and this includes: Choir, Computer Coding, Gaelige Club and the huge range of sporting pursuits available, Basketball, Rugby, Football and Athletics etc..
Members of the Castleisland Community College Board of Management and Parents’ Council supported the event by giving an account of their and their children’s experiences of Castleisland Community College.
Teachers were very active in their respective subject classrooms, exploring with current and prospective students the curriculums of their subjects. Prospective students had the opportunity to engage with every subject teacher and ask any questions.
The choir and musicians were busily entertaining the guests for the evening as they moved from room to room or enjoyed mince pies in the extremely busy canteen area.
“Please feel free to call to the school for a copy of our new school brochure or to discuss any particular questions you may need answered. We wish all our staff and students a very Happy New Year,” said Ms. Kelly. The deadline for enrolling in Castleisland Community College is Friday, January 23rd at close of the school day.