Tributes paid to teacher retiring after 35 years

By Maurice Garvey 

A BELOVED primary school teacher retired this week, but not before he was regaled by a rapturous crowd at St Lorcan’s Boys National School in Palmerstown.

The retirement event for teacher Leo Egan at the assembly hall was a slick operation, featuring a Q&A session with pupils, intermittent musical interjections to accompany the mood, and words of praise and presentations from St Lorcan’s principal John Moore, the Parent’s Association and the man of the hour himself.

Leo egan

Andy Pierce, Parent's Association, Leo Egan and St Lorcan's Principal John Moore

Principal Moore opened proceedings for “a very important assembly”, noting this was to be a “tribute” for Mr Egan’s 35 years of teaching at the school since 1984.

“I personally enjoyed everything you have done for the school,” he said.

Responding to a series of questions from pupils on stage, Mr Egan acknowledged it would be the youngsters whom he would miss the most upon retirement, while also praising the quality of the school SNAs, teachers, and cleaners.

“Behind every good school is a brilliant caretaker (Mr Glover) and Secretary (Ms Scully),” he added.

One student asked Mr Egan if he would read for them “one last time.”

He duly obliged and revealed some of his favourite children’s books to be Roald Dahl stories The Witches/Matilda, Reservoir Pups (by Colin Bateman) and JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

“You are never lonely with a book,” he said.

Another student noted how Mr Egan “spoke to us like we were 50, and everyone knew about the raffle [he organised].”

Instrumental in starting the school garden in 2009, Mr Egan believes that legacy to be “in safe hands” as he moves on, noting a current school application that has gone in for a sensory garden.

“They do say your career is your identity – I do hope I don’t have an identity crisis next week,” he quipped.

“I bow out on two words – moving forward.”

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