To the passer-by, Carnaun National School is not an imposing structural landmark huddled in its rural, pastoral setting. It is, however, in a local and national context an educational establishment of considerable note and significance.
This begs the question—what are the factors that constitute a centre of excellence? Spacious classrooms and other modern ancillary facilities, though most desirable and good in themselves, are not what makes Carnaun distinctive and a centre with a proud tradition of excellence. The answer lies in the calibre and professionalism of successive generations of teachers who formed the teaching staff of that school down through the years. It has been widely known for its strong instructional leadership, its safe and orderly climate for learning, its high teacher expectations where school time is protected for learning. This strong instructional leadership, which I refer to, is synonymous with the O’Regan family.
Shortly after coming to Athenry, many many years ago, I had been at a non-educational conference in a South of Ireland town. Socialising in the evening and meeting some participants who were attending the conference the usual questions were asked as to our various destinations. I gave Athenry as mine and a person in the company asked me if it was far from Carnaun National School. I then got an up-date of the special awards bestowed on the personnel of that school for distinguished teaching. I had to admit to my colleague that I was in a learning situation but instantly felt proud that a small rural school could be so widely known and after listening to my informant, I hasten to add deservedly so.
The school I am now attached to has a long and fruitful association with Carnaun National School, its parents and pupils. Whenever I call to the school I am always impressed by the cheerful busyness and the willing helpfulness which prevails. This caring, pleasant atmosphere has, I submit, prepared Carnaun National School pupils to make the transition safely and securely to second-level schools and something which parents and school should be very proud of.
Mr. Finbarr O’Regan and his committed and dedicated staff, for providing a learning environment where children can learn to grow in a caring, loving atmosphere, deserve the gratitude, esteem and respect of the entire community.
To the teachers, parents and pupils of Carnaun National School our wish for you over the next 100 years is: “May your future be as bright as your past is proud”.
Written by Séamus Cullinane
Published here 05 Feb 2021
Page 189 of The Carnaun Centenary Book
Community Games 1996
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