Kay’s farewell to High Street NS after 31 years

After over three decades on the teaching staff of High Street national school in Belmont, and 21 years as principal, today (Friday) marks the end of an era for the local community as Kay Egan bids a fond farewell to her students and fellow staff for the final time.

Speaking to the Offaly Independent earlier this week, the much-loved principal admitted to being “fiercely emotional” at the thought of her impending retirement and said she has “loved every single day” of her time on the staff of High Street school. “It was a real privilege to have spent so long in a job where there was always such a high level of enjoyment, so I am really fortunate,” she said.

The Ballinasloe native has been an integral part of the High Street school community, and the wider community in Belmont, since she first arrived at the local national school in 1991.

Since then she has touched and shaped the lives of hundreds of children from the parish and beyond, along with marrying locally and raising her own family in the local area.

She says there is something “very unique” about teaching, particularly at primary level as “you are always in such an upbeat and happy environment” and Kay says she will be “very sad” to say goodbye to all her “wonderful pupils”.

During her long teaching career in High Street school, Kay Egan says she has had the privilege of teaching many of the parents of her current cohort of pupils, and she jokingly recalls how one of the substitute teachers in the school this week was born two years after she graduated as a new teacher!

When asked if she has any plans for her retirement, she says: “if I get good health to enjoy it that is the most important thing” and she is also looking forward to having more time to spend with her family".

Carmel Ferris takes up the mantle of principal in High Street NS, and a special retirement celebration for Kay Egan takes place this evening (Friday, September 30) in High Street Hall at 6.30pm. Parents (past and present), pupils and former pupils as well as all members of the local community are warmly invited to come along for music, fun and refreshments.