Ursuline Secondary School

May 29, 2022

May 29, 2022

Goodbye Mary B

The Ursuline had its final School assembly of the year on Thursday, 26 May. It was the first time that the whole School had been able to meet together in assembly since May 2019. It was an opportunity to say best wishes to the Leaving Cert class of 2022 and also to say goodbye to Principal Ms Mary Butler who is retiring in August. Tributes were paid to Mary B by Deputy Principal Ms Gleeson and Chairperson of the School Council Michelle Flanagan and the two Vice-Chairpersons Anna Grace and Gráinne Gleeson. Ms Gleeson spoke about Mary B’s long career in the Ursuline. A member of staff for 45 years Mary B taught Latin, French and her beloved English, she started the TY programme, spearheaded the School Council, was editor of the Yearbook, started the Christmas activities in the School, produced and directed the annual School Show from 1982, was Deputy Principal and finally Principal since 2012. Minister for Education sent a video thanking Ms Butler for her years of service to education and for her careful custodianship of the Ursuline ethos. She commended Mary’s excellence and service to education and said that a teacher’s legacy lives on in her students and so it will be in Mary Butler’s case.

Next it was the turn of the School Council and the students to thank Mary B. Michelle Flanagan, Chairperson, acknowledged the support Mary B gave students when they were at their lowest and most vulnerable. Her guiding words and wise advice was always valued in the midst of tough times. Each class in the School was asked to think of a word to describe Mary B and as Michelle called out these words a student stood up in the crowd, presenting a poster of the word. Some of the words included ‘kind’, ‘enthusiastic’ ‘creative’ and ‘inspirational’. Anna Grace, Vice Chairperson said Mary B had an impact on everyone, she set high standards for herself and expected high standards from staff and students and more often than not that is what she got. Anna presented Mary B with a memory book containing photographs and messages from students and staff, past and present. Finally, Gráinne Gleeson, Vice Chairperson of the School Council spoke about all the School Shows that Mary had been involved in beginning in 1980 with The Quarker Girl, working alongside Sr Rita and then Ms McNally who joined in 1986. As Gráinne pointed out not many people can claim they paved the way for an Oscar nominee and Olivier Award winner. Gráinne admitted to not being much of a Jessie Buckley herself but said she very much enjoyed her time in the School Shows under Ms Butler’s tutelage, particularly her role as a ‘plate’ in Beauty and the Beast. She introduced the final tribute of the day to Ms Butler, an arrangement of musical theatre snippets sung by Chamber Choir of the 40 years of Shows that Mary Butler was involved in. It was a beautiful, fitting and fun accolade in a snapshot of songs and a lovely overview of the productions staged by Mary and what she achieved over the previous four decades. She has done great things in the Ursuline over the course of her career and she will be missed come September. Goodbye Mary B and thanks for the memories.

Final School Assembly of the Year, 26 May, 2022

The final Ursuline School assembly of the year took place on Thursday morning, 26 May. It was a chance for the whole School to meet together in the Sr Ursula Memorial Hall for the first time in two years. The assembly opened with a prayer said by Vice Chairpersons of the School Council, Gráinne Gleeson and Anna Grace. School Council Chairperson, Michelle Flanagan, thanked the Leaving Cert class of 2022 for their commitment and dedication to School life in all its forms and wished her class mates the very best of luck in the Leaving Cert and in life. Principal Ms Butler thanked the School Council, in particular the Sixth Year members, for their efforts in creating a pleasant atmosphere in the School and for their long tradition of supporting the ethos of the School.

This year the Ursuline had the distinction of achieving its fourth Amber Flag and ninth Green Flag both of which were presented at the Assembly with addresses from Chairperson of the Green Schools Committee, Natalie Gillman and Chairperson of the Amber Flag Committee, Caoimhe Howley thanking everyone who contributed to these accomplishments on behalf of the Ursuline. There was also a performance by Chamber Choir of their Cork Choral Festival winning number I’ve Got Rhythm and a selection of Irish tunes played by the TY Trad Group who are through to the Munster Fleadh Cheoil and also won the Gael Linn Podcast competition this year run in conjunction with Radio na Gaeltachta. Megan Kelly, Fifth Year, who came third in the World Irish Dancing Championships in Belfast recently, danced a hornpipe accompanied by the TY Trad Group. There was also a catwalk fashion show by this year’s Junk Kouture entries including Genevieve Keane who has been selected to represent Ireland at the World Junk Kouture Final in Abu Dhabi.

The final part of the Assembly proceedings was the Awards. Ms Butler pointed out that in her eyes and the eyes of the staff all the students are winners as they are lovely to be with and so gracious in the sharing of their gifts and talents always. She also said some people are really good at being a friend and even though this may never merit an award it is a wonderful gift to have.

Kate Ryan, member of the Irish U18 Hockey team received the Sports Award. She was presented with this by Hockey coach Ms Eimear Cregan. Cathy Hogan, Tipperary Ladies Football star was chosen as this year’s Elite Sports Award winner. The Hyland Trophy for the Music Student of the Year was shared jointly by Anna Grace and Juliana McConnell. The David Molony Medal for Performance was given to Elizabeth O’Meara and the Dwan Salver for the highest grade achieved in a St Angela’s Academy of Music exam, officiated by the RIAM, was presented to Fifth Year student Patsy Norton by Sr Cecelia. The Sr Ursula Memorial Medal for an original creative work was won this year by Leaving Cert student Aoife Curran for her oil painting. Certificates of Attendance were given to Sarah Gorman, Caoimhe Dooley and Natalie Gillman for their full attendance in Secondary School. The International Student of the Year was Jeanne Pannetier, a French TY student who fully immersed herself in all aspects of Irish School life. Hannah O’Brien was this year’s recipient of the Ursuline 250 Jubilee Award and the Helen Larkin Fitzgerald Award for Student of the Year was given the Sixth Year Catherine Fogarty for her positive energy, her resilience and for making everyone feel important and included in her own unique and friendly way. Well done to all students who received awards and to all the Leaving Certs who have left an indelible mark on the School. They shall be missed.

Aug 24
Staff Meeting & Subject Planning
Aug 25
Sixth Years Return
Aug 29
Third Years Return
Aug 29
TY Induction
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