29 Sept 2022

‘For 42 years, Sheila Delaney, has been the face and voice of the school’-Presentation, Ballingarry

The Presentation Ballingarry bid a fond farewell to their ‘gentle, kind and dedicated’ secretary as she retires

‘For 42 years, Sheila Delaney, has been the face and voice of the school’

Sheila celebrates her final break with the staff

Contributed by The Presentation, Ballingarry

Gentle, kind and dedicated were just some of the adjectives used by Principal Ms Cahill to describe Presentation Ballingarry, School Secretary, Sheila Delaney, as she retires following 42 years of loyal and devoted service.

When people speak of their years in Presentation Ballingarry, either as a staff member or a pupil, they invariably ask, “how is Sheila?”

For 42 years, Sheila Delaney has been the face and the voice of the school. Over the years, Sheila has welcomed Politicians, Archbishops, Sisters, Celebrities, new Staff Members, Parents and Pupils and each one was received with a warm smile and welcome.

If a student had forgotten a lunch, a copy or was sick, it was never any trouble for Sheila to phone home. She always made time for everyone. Having completed her Secretarial training, Sheila returned to Ballingarry, to the school where she and her siblings had attended, to become Presentation Ballingarry’s first ever school secretary, a position she developed and excelled in for over 42 years.

Sheila is joined by office and administration staff

Throughout her years, Sheila has watched the school grow and flourish under a number of Principals, including Sr. Patricia, Sr. Immaculata RIP, Sr Regis RIP, Sr Pius, Sr Anne, Mr Tom Fennessy and our current Principal, Ms Angela Cahill.

Sheila has watched as the school developed from prefabs to what is now - a state-of-the-art building. Hardworking and professional, Sheila responded with enthusiasm to changes in technology and work practices.

From acetates to printers, from phones that needed an operator to new software. There was a palpable sense of loneliness as Ms Cahill made a presentation to Sheila on behalf of the staff, The Board of Management and students. In describing Sheila, Ms Cahill added that Sheila was the perfect “front of house,” a great colleague and a good friend.

Throughout her final day, there was a steady stream of students calling to the office to say their own personal thank you and goodbye.

The Board of Management commended Sheila on her service to the school and wished her a very happy and enjoyable retirement; Mr Brian Moran, Deputy Principal, made a presentation on their behalf, while Gemma Gahan, 6th year, representing the 12,600 students Sheila has registered over her 42 years, made a presentation of a gift voucher and flowers to Sheila, on behalf of the students present.

As a school community, we are all united in wishing Sheila a long and very happy retirement with her husband Richard and family.

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