Sixth class students at Ratheniska NS, supported by the Parents’ Association, organised a wonderful Graduation Ceremony in Ratheniska Hall on a beautiful summer’s evening to mark the end of their time together in primary school.
This was the first time that such an event was held in Ratheniska and it demonstrated the skills and camaraderie developed by the students during their eight years in class together.
The students organised a hugely successful Bake Sale in the Park/Ratheniska Clubhouse last Sunday morning and decided to use the funds raised to get a specially-designed Class Hoody and arrange a Graduation Ceremony in Ratheniska Hall.
Preparations have been in full swing over the last few days and all the hard work by the students came together with a very enjoyable occasion in the Community Hall last evening.
Chairperson of the Parents’ Association, Chris Knowles, welcomed the students and the families and congratulated the class on the initiative and commitment they demonstrated over the last few days.
He also thanked the parents for all their support with the event. A video was then played that was recorded when the students were in Junior Infants asking each of them what they would be doing in 15 years’ time. It made for very interesting and entertaining viewing!
Guest of honour, Laois Football Manager John Sugrue, then presented each of the students with a framed Certificate of Completion.
He congratulated the students on reaching this milestone in their lives and offered advice and encouragement to all students on the next phase of their lives.
In particular he emphasised the importance of belonging to a community and asked the students to remember their time at Ratheniska NS as their first experience of a community and to maintain those connections and spirit in the years ahead.
On behalf of the class Grace Cunningham and Laura Brennan thanked the Parents Association for their support in organising the event, in particular Chris Knowles, Maeve Conroy, and Terisina Fingleton.
They also thanked all the parents for their support and encouragement during their time in primary school. They thanked all the staff at Ratheniska NS, in particular Mr Conway who has been their class teacher for the last two years.
They said that the last week had been the highlight of their time in primary school and that the experience, memories, and friendships made in primary school would last a lifetime.
They also thanked the Park/Ratheniska and the Ladies Club as well as the Hall Committee.
They then informed all present that the Class had agreed that the surplus funds raised would be given to the Cuisle Centre and the Laura Lynn Foundation (on the recommendation of their IT Teacher, Mr. Ryan) and, accordingly, cheques for €340 were presented to Carmel Brennan for both organisations that do such great work.
Mr. Knowles thanked everyone for helping make the evening such a special occasion and paid a special tribute to John Sugrue for taking time out of his busy schedule this week to offer great advice to the students.
On behalf of all present he wished John and the Laois Football Team the best of luck this weekend.
He stated that the Graduation ceremony would now become a firm fixture on the calendar for the Parents’ Association and then invited everyone to partake in the great selection of refreshments served by parents of 4th and 5th class students.
With the music playing and the sun shining, the conversation and laughter went on long into the evening.
Thanks to Chris Kavanagh for sending in the pictures and to Joe Cunningham for the brilliant report.