Once Upon A Time

"Unknown to us, there are moments,
When crevices we cannot see open,
For time to come alive with beginning.”

John O’Donohue

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Once upon a time, as a toddler, I looked on as my Mother answered a knock at our door from the Sisters of the Jesus and Mary Convent. They asked if they could boil some water for the picnic they were having on the shore, behind our home in Barna. Neither they nor I could ever have imagined the treasures that were to unfold for me from that meeting.

12 years later, my Mother walked with me as a 1st-year student up the steps of the old Salerno in Revagh Road and handed me over to the Principal, Mother Claudine and her wonderful staff. From that day to when I retired as Deputy Principal, I was in my second home. Over that lifetime, I was “in-flow”, the term made famous by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, as I experienced both personal and professional fulfilment.

Salerno is known and respected far and wide for the quality of the education it provides. Inspiring words from Claudine Thevenet, “Be like Mothers to the Girls”, and “How good God is”, were woven into the fabric of this wonderful school. I’m proud to say that every decision I ever witnessed being made there was person-centred. We as Educators encouraged our students to think with a growth mindset, give generously and shatter any glass ceiling on their journey towards achieving their full potential.

The uniqueness of every child and adult who walked the halls of Salerno over the years have built a school where values of kindness, respect and empathy are aligned with the goal of each child striving to be the best they can for both themselves and others.

As I pause to reflect on my life in the School I love, I am grateful that Salerno connections continue to bless and enrich me. Running my Life Coaching Business, Cassandra, my Social Media Guru, and Maria, my Accountant, both past students, are now my teachers. Muinteoir Aoife and Muinteoir Rebecca carry the Salerno torch into my Grandchildren Maggie- Kate and Michael’s classrooms in Barna National School. Louise at Perfect Fit Galway, also a Salerno girl, finds the sparkliest shoes for my youngest granddaughter Seána, now the age I was when this story began.

This Salerno Granny, like W.B Yeats,

“feels so blessed that I could bless”.

 

Reprinted from Salerno Connections, Alumnae Newsletter, May 2021

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