Presentation Secondary School, Loughboy News – December 2020

School community recognises outstanding academic achievement in momentous Presentation Day celebrations

Presentation Day, or Pres’ day as it is affectionately known as, is celebrated on the 21st of November every year. This marks the feast of the Presentation of Our Lady, which was the revered Nano Nagle’s favourite feast day. It is a momentous day in the school calendar, not only for students and teachers but for the extended school community here in Presentation. Although the entire school was unable to gather in the hall to join Fr. Dan Carroll in celebrating the mass, it was nonetheless a memorable and special occasion as we connected virtually, through a live stream. The Religion department was instrumental in coordinating the day and ensuring the ceremony ran seamlessly. Prayers of the faithful and the offertory procession were led by Pres’ girl Sadhbh O’Leary and Deputy Pres’ girl Letiesha Redmond.

Sister Kathleen Lawlor in attendance very generously gifted a box of sweets to each class, on behalf of the Presentation Sisters, to mark the day. Students greatly appreciated this kind, thoughtful gesture. Regrettably, while not all of the Presentation Sisters could attend the celebration, they remained firmly in our thoughts. Student council members posted a card to the convent, wishing them well in these difficult times. A tradition established in recent years where members of the student council visited the Presentation sisters to have tea is one we will hopefully be able to resume as we move towards a new year.

Pres’ day is an opportunity for the school community to recognize outstanding academic achievement in both Junior and Senior Cycle examinations. Striving for academic excellence is embedded into the fabric of the Presentation Kilkenny ethos. In light of what has been an extremely challenging year against the backdrop of Covid-19, these awards hold an even greater significance. Students across the country endured a turbulent year characterized by uncertainty, with exam years feeling this most acutely. Thus, it was with great pleasure that we were able to acknowledge the efforts and diligence of our exceptional students in the presence of their families in what was a jubilant day. Contributing enormously to the unique atmosphere of Pres’ day was the elegant school choir, orchestrated by Ms.Patrice Davern and Ms. Mary Minchin.

Under the guidance of Mr. Kevin Cleary, members of the student council presented the recipients with flowers on behalf of the students and the board of management, represented by chairperson Maria Kelly who kindly presented the gifts. Alex Murphy and Sophie Rafter were recognized for excelling in their Junior Cycle exam. Leaving Certificate students Rachel Mclnerney, Aoife Crowdle, Claire Morrison and Deirdre Cushen were all honoured for their outstanding results. Principal, Mr. Shane Hallahan encapsulated the positive influence that these students had on all facets of school life in his speech during the celebration: “They epitomize everything that is amazing about the Presentation, they are humble, hard-working, kind ,generous students”  We would like to congratulate and wish them every success in their bright futures as they embark on their university education.


Presentation Kilkenny – Connecting with their Community

In the current pandemic there is nothing more important than reaching out to those in need, or those who lack human interaction.  The Religion Department at Presentation Kilkenny, through their Pastoral Care Outreach Programme, recognised these needs and embarked on a number of initiatives to connect with their local community.

The Presentation Kilkenny has a proud tradition of being a supportive and caring community and it was from this bedrock that students and teachers set about launching and operating the following initiatives over the months of November and December 2020:

  • St Vincent de Paul – a Food Appeal was launched in the school where students brought in non-perishable items for distribution through the St Vincent de Paul to those in need.
  • Kilkenny Helping the Homeless – Students assembled Care Packages at home, which included essentials like socks and toiletries, which were distributed to the homeless in Kilkenny City and County.
  • An Post Initiative – Community is about reaching out to others, staying connecting and sharing our love and respect. Students wrote letters to older members of the local community, particularly those in Nursing and Care Home settings where contact with family and friends has been limited due to the pandemic.  The student’s belief was that these members of our community, who had played an integral part in creating the fabric of who we are, should be recognised and know that they were respected and respectfully thought of in the local community.
  • Children’s Ward at St Luke’s Hospital – a CD titled “A Presentation Christmas” was recorded in December in St Marys Cathedral Kilkenny with both junior and senior choirs performing and the resulting product was sold as a Christmas gift in the local community, with the proceeds going to this very worthy cause.

These initiatives were seen to keep the spirit and ethos of the Presentation Sisters alive through these challenging Covid times, allowing students to immerse themselves in the local community and recognise those in need and those who had contributed in such a profound way to the community in the past.  The positive relationships which our students nurture with our local community are at the heart of our school culture and what we stand for.  They are also built on a spirit of engagement and collaboration between the school, its students and the local community, to provide a better society and place for us to live and grow.