Retirement of Maria Kennelly from Presentation Castleisland

Presentation Castleisland Principal Pierce Dargan making a presentation to teacher Maria Kennelly to mark her retirement. Colleagues included are, from left: Tracey Dooley, Deirdre O’Brien, Ailish O’Connor and Annette Leen. ©Photograph: John Reidy.

It is with a strange mixture of sadness and celebration that Presentation Secondary School said goodbye last week to Ms. Maria Kennelly on her retirement.

Here, her Pres colleague, Annette Leen compiled the following report to mark the occasion and she expressed the regret that circumstances didn’t allow for a more fitting send-off.

By: Annette Leen

Maria, originally from Lisselton, joined the staff of Presentation in 1988 after completing her B.Ed. degree in Home Economics and Irish in St. Catherine’s College, Sion Hill.

Her expertise in Home Economics, in particular, quickly came to the fore and it has benefitted many students nationally as she is a co-author of numerous Junior Certificate Home Economics textbooks, including: The Home Economist; Spice of Life and Lifewise.

Caring, Compassionate Nature

Her caring, compassionate nature led her to return to college in 1999 to complete a Graduate Diploma in Guidance and Counselling at University College Cork.

She excelled in the role of Guidance Counsellor also, guiding students towards their goals.

It is fair to say that Maria always went the extra mile for the students of Presentation in her quiet, unassuming way.

Nobody will ever know the myriad of ways she supported students over the years.

A Listening Ear

They were always certain of a listening ear and practical solutions to whatever issues they faced.” said Principal Pierce Dargan.

In her role as Assistant Principal Maria was most recently: Leader of Wellbeing and sixth year, year head, two roles she relished and took great pride in.

She has worked with many staff and students down through the years but always has a special place in her heart for the Presentation Sisters especially Sr. Clement, RIP; Sr. Mary and Sr. Margaret.

Scaled-Down Celebration

We will miss Maria’s professionalism, kindness, honesty and gentle nature but most of all we will miss her sense of humour.

It is unfortunate that the current pandemic meant a scaled-down celebration of her retirement, but it didn’t do anything to downsize the genuine good wishes everyone has for her.

Go néirí an bothar leat Maria!

You can contact The Maine Valley Post on…Anyone in The Maine Valley Post catchment area who would like to send us news and captioned photographs for inclusion can send them to: Queries about advertising and any other matters regarding The Maine Valley Post can also be sent to that address or just ring: 087 23 59 467.