The Princiapl of Cross and Passion College in Ballycastle has bit an emotional farewell after 17 years.
Addressing pupils, parents and friends of Cross and Passion, Mrs Ward (pictured right) posted on the school’s Facebook site that the school had ‘been a huge part of her life’ and ‘brought her much joy’.
She explained: “You will be aware that I will be retiring from Cross and Passion at the end of August and so I wanted to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you for making my 17 years as Principal such a rewarding and memorable experience. It is very difficult to put into words just how much my time with this school community has meant to me, but I’ll have a go!
“Cross and Passion has been a huge part of my life and whilst it has been a tremendous challenge on a professional level, it has brought me much joy, fulfilment and real satisfaction. The young people of North Antrim have made this school what it is and it has been my privilege to work with them over the years.
“They are warm, friendly, mannerly and courteous and a credit to their families and community. They are also very talented and thankfully have greatly enriched the life of this school by being so generous in sharing their passion and skill, whether it be as hurlers, camogs, athletes, singers, musicians, actors, artists, dancers, debaters, fundraisers, or as school leaders and prefects.
“When it comes to the academic side of school, it has been a delight for me to witness the focus, determination, perseverance and dedication of so many pupils who have worked hard and made the most of every opportunity here in CPC. Achieving ‘personal best’ has been the CPC goal for every pupil and it has been a delight for all of our staff to watch so many local young people achieve so well in school and go off to make their mark in the world.
“To the parents of the CPC pupils, I also want to express my deep gratitude for your support. Your encouragement of, and pride in your children has been very evident to me in so many ways both in terms of their learning and achievement as well as your attendance at extra-curricular events. I really hope that your children’s experience in CPC has been all that you hoped it would be.
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“To the friends of the school in our parishes, businesses, clubs, local churches and the wider community, I would like to express my deep gratitude. Your contribution to the life of the school has enabled us to do much more with and for our young people. I trust that we have reciprocated your generosity and support for the school in encouraging our pupils to make an active and enthusiastic contribution to the various community aspects of North Antrim life.
“I received a card recently wishing me happiness in my retirement, the card greeting read, ‘Look back with a sense of pride and forward with a sense of excitement’. I look back, yes, with a sense of pride but the overwhelming emotion is one of deep gratitude for the support, encouragement, challenge and yes, fun I have had over the last 17 years. Many thanks to you all.”