THE Principal of St Mary’s College has said the ‘Class of 2022’ should be proud of themselves for their academic achievements in the face of Covid.
Anne Flanagan, at the Irvinestown-based school’s certificates presentation, welcomed back those who left in the summer and praised them for finishing their schooling on a high.
More so given their final two years were completed under exceptional – and trying – circumstances of the Covid pandemic and the lockdowns that came with it that meant pupils at times had to undergo distance learning done online.
Mrs Flanagan said: “We felt Covid deeply in the St Mary’s Community, as did all school communities, but you returned to school, you settled down and to quote (80s pop star) Billy Ocean, ‘When the going got tough – the tough got going’.
“And for that you should be immensely proud of yourselves. We hardly dared to hope that you would all achieve so well.
“We knew you could – but there seemed to be times that you doubted yourselves. In a few minutes you will hold the evidence in your hands of what we told you here at St Mary’s – this time, to quote Mr Bob the Builder, ‘Can we do it? Yes we can’.”
Principal Flanagan also gave the leaving pupils advice to take forward with them as the make their way in the wider world.
She added: “As you make a new beginning in your life, I have stolen advice from a poet who prioritised important things that you learnt in our school that you won’t be getting a certificate for later on this afternoon:
“As you pursue your dreams, remember to take time to help and serve others even if doing so slows you down a little. As you explore and develop your unique talents,remain humble -realising that your special abilities are gifts from God.
“As life hands you challenges, welcome the many ways to become smarter and stronger. As you acquire material things – clothes, technology, cars, houses – know that your most important possessions are honesty, integrity and the desire to make a difference.
“Congratulations, our lovely Leavers. Go out and see the world if you can. Do not be afraid of breaking out of your comfort zone.
“You are kind. You are smart. You are important. And you are loved. Never forget that.”
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