Tribute to retiring principal who brought music alive in school

Mrs Catherine Phelan.
Former colleagues and pupils at Ardfinnan National School have wished principal Mrs Catherine Phelan well on her retirement.

Former colleagues and pupils at Ardfinnan National School have wished principal Mrs Catherine Phelan well on her retirement.

Mrs Phelan is noted for introducing a mavellous music culture into the school

Mrs. Phelan was committed and dedicated to the teaching of pupils in Ardfinnan NS, an insightful teacher of the highest calibre. She was devoted to encouraging all children to reach their potential.

She shared her love of music enthusiastically with the children and ensured the pupils from the school had the opportunity to participate in the National Childrens Choir locally, in concerts in Thurles, and at a national level in the National Concert Hall in Dublin. Her vision and enthusiasm created magical opportunities and memories for the children.

It was Mrs. Phelans who encouraged the children to access musical tuition in the school and so the school orchestra began.

Initially a small number of pupils commenced Cello and recorder lessons. The ‘Lets Make Music Project’ was Mrs. Phelan’s vision for all pupils to have access to music - the project ensures all pupils in 1st and 2nd classes receive weekly violin tuition in small groups by a violin teacher (at no cost to the pupils).

Currently 65 pupils are participating in ‘The Lets make Music Project’ and in 3rd class the pupils progress to the school orchestra. The orchestra comprises of pupils playing: violin, cello, recorder and most recently the drums. From September 2015 tuition will also be available for the concert flute.

In a tribute her staff add - “Thank you Mrs. Phelan for the music. On behalf of the school, we want to thank you for the dedicated and enthsusiastic work you have done for us. We want you to know you will be missed by the staff, the Board of management, the parents and most especially by the pupils. Our very best wishes go to you for your retirement and we hope that you will have many years of good health and happiness to enjoy your life after teaching.”